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Latest update : 2010-03-30

Russian papers show graphic images from the “kamikaze train”

In today’s international press review we look at coverage in the Russian papers of yesterday’s double suicide attack in Moscow. Also, papers around the world analyse on Franco-American relations in advance of Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to the White House. TUESDAY, 30th MARCH, 2010

Russia’s papers all lead with yesterday’s horrendous attack in the Moscow metro which has left around 40 dead and well over a hundred more injured. Kommersant’s headline is “Kamikaze train” and its front page photo shows bodies inside one of the metro’s carriages. Komsomolskaya Pravda’s headline is “Double terror attack in Moscow’s metro”. Izvestia speaks about an “enemy under Moscow”. On the front page there is an interview with controversial Chechen leader Ramzan Kadirov. The attack is said to have been carried out by two female suicide bombers thought to be from the northern Caucasus. Kadirov says that this terrorist act was carried out by people “who do not belong to the human race”. Vremia Novostiey’s headline is “From under the earth” and the front page photo shows flowers placed on the ground in the metro station.
 
The English-language daily The Moscow Times provides details of the attack, saying the bomb was filled with bolts and iron rods.
 
It says officials believe the two female bombers were terrorists with links to the North Caucasus. Were they avenging the death of their trainer and inspirational leader, a Muslim convert who was slain by FSB commandos earlier this month, as the paper says? So-called black widows have participated in two-thirds of the nearly 40 rebel attacks that have killed about 900 people in Russia since 2001, according to the Moscow Times.
 
The British daily, The Financial Times looks at the tensions in the north Caucasus which most likely led to this terror attack. In Chechnya, Russia’s iron will has been imposed through two brutal wars. Violence has also been flaring in neighbouring Dagestan and Ingushetia.
“It is little surprise when the children of these wars themselves turn to violence, even to suicide bombing,” the paper notes.
 
“Putin must know however that repression alone cannot solve the deep-rooted problems of the north Caucasus.” Indeed, he has sent top administrators to the region to supervise huge economic reconstruction plans.
 
The paper concludes that “neither guns nor money will be enough [to resolve the terror problem] without real political engagement and respect for the rule of law” and that “an inclusive democratic and law-based approach in the Caucasus would involve changing Russia into an inclusive, democratic and law-based country.”
 
Other articles in today’s international press review:
 
The Daily Telegraph: Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy bury the hatchet
 
The Washington Times: Sarkozy, Obama set to face off for market control
 
The Washington Post: Obama shifts focus from foreign populations to leaders
 
New York Daily News: Republican National Committee spent nearly $2,000 at West Hollywood strip club Voyeur
 
Politico: RNC fires staffer behind controversy

By James CREEDON

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