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Latest update : 2010-04-03

One of the perpetrators of Moscow's metro bombings has been identified as the 17-year-old widow of a Dagestani Islamist militant, media reports said Friday, as the death toll rose to 40 following the death of a man wounded in Monday's twin attacks.

REUTERS - The 17-year-old widow of an Islamist militant from the North Caucasus is suspected of blowing herself up in suicide attacks that killed 40 people on the Moscow metro, a Russian law enforcement official said.

More than 50 people were killed and another 100 injured in suicide bombings this week in the Moscow metro and in a town in the turbulent North Caucasus region of Dagestan, raising fears of a new bombing campaign against the Russian heartland.

Photographs of a young woman released by the official, in a Russian law enforcement agency in Dagestan, showed her dressed in a black hijab and holding a grenade.

Another photograph of the same woman showed her holding a pistol. The same photograph was published in the Kommersant newspaper on Friday.

The source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue, named her as Dagestani-born Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova, the widow of 30-year-old Umalat Magomedov, a prominent insurgent killed by Russian forces on Dec. 31.

Magomedov, who was shown in the photographs holding an automatic pistol, styled himself as the "Emir of the mujahideen of the Vilayat Dagestan", a local Islamist group, the source said.

A spokesman for the Russian Prosecutor-General's main investigations unit declined to comment when asked about Abdurakhmanova and the photographs.

Two female suicide bombers -- known in the Russian media as "Black Widows" -- killed at least 40 people on packed Moscow metro trains during the rush hour on Monday.

The first bomb tore through a metro train just before 8 a.m. as it stood at the Lubyanka station, close to the headquarters of the FSB. A second bomb was detonated less than 40 minutes later in a train waiting at the Park Kultury metro station.

The suicide bombings in Moscow and Dagestan follow a surge of violence over the past year in the patchwork of North Caucasus republics, where Russia has fought two wars against Chechen separatists since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Russia's FSB security chief Alexander Bortnikov has blamed militant groups linked to the North Caucasus for the attacks but given no further details on the investigation.

Islamist Chechen rebels claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the Moscow metro bombings and threatened further attacks against Russian cities.

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, who calls himself the "Emir of the Caucasus Emirate", said he had ordered the twin suicide bombings in Moscow to "destroy infidels" and in revenge for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's policies in the North

Date created : 2010-04-02


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