Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Mansouria Mokhefi, Middle East and North Africa specialist

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

Europe

Deadly explosion strikes Moscow airport

©

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-24

A suicide bomber targeted the international arrivals hall at Moscow's Domodedovo airport on Monday, killing at least 35 people and injuring more than 100 others. The Kremlin has denounced the blast as an act of terrorism.

AFP - A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and wounded dozens Monday when he blew himself up in the packed arrivals hall of Moscow's largest airport in an attack slammed by the Kremlin as an act of terror.

There were scenes of carnage at Domodedovo airport in southern Moscow as corpses were stretchered out of the smoke-filled arrivals area after the blast, the latest deadly attack to hit the capital after the metro bombings in March.

Describing the attack as an act of terror, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev chaired an emergency meeting of top officials and ordered a special security regime across the country's main airports and railway stations.

Russia's Western partners strongly condemned the blast, with US President Barack Obama describing the attack as "outrageous" and German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying she was dismayed by the "cowardly" act.

"Today at 4:32 pm (1332 GMT) an explosion went off in the international arrivals hall of Domodedovo airport," the Russian investigative committee said in a statement.

Airport spokeswoman Elena Galanova said that the blast had gone off in a freely accessible public area of the airport where passengers meet relatives after passing customs.

At least 35 people were killed, she said, a figure confirmed by the investigative committee. At least 130 were wounded, the health ministry said in a statement. It said that of the wounded, 20 were in a serious condition.

"All of a sudden I heard a huge bang, as if something had fallen. No-one understood what had happened," Elena, a Lufthansa stewardess, told an AFP correspondent at the airport. "Everyone was in shock."

A Briton and other foreigners were among those killed, the Interfax news agency quoted a security source as saying. However despite the mayhem, the airport carried on working normally with only handful of flights affected, Domodedovo said.

Russian investigators on Monday found a head of "Arab appearance" that is presumed to have belonged to the suicide bomber responsible for setting off the blast, Interfax said.

According to preliminary information, the bomber was a resident of the overwhelmingly Muslim Northern Caucasus region, Interfax said.

"A blast went off at Domodedovo that, according to preliminary information, was an act of terror," Medvedev said in televised remarks. "It is necessary to introduce a special regime in all airports and transportation hubs."

"It's less than a year since the last time the Russian capital was hit by terrorists"
Medvedev said the incident showed that Russia's security regulations were not being followed properly. "What happened indicates that far from all the laws that need to be working are being used correctly," said Medvedev.

Russian security services had received warnings that an act of terror would be carried out at one of the Moscow airports and three suspects had even been identified, the RIA Novosti news agency said.

The LifeNews.ru website said many victims had metal fragements embedded in their bodies and the explosive device was packed with bolts, nuts, nails and ball bearings.

"Burned people are running about.. they are carrying pieces of flesh on stretchers," one eyewitness, named as Andrei, told Russian City FM radio.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been informed of the incident, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax.

The blast also represented a major setback for Russia's international image and confidence in its security as it gears up to hold two major sporting events, the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the 2018 World Cup.

Medvedev has postponed his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, planned for this week, as a result of the blast, Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.

Moscow police on Monday stepped up security across the city after the blast, Interfax quoted law enforcement officials as saying.

Domodedovo Airport is Russia's largest airport in terms of passenger numbers and takes flights from top international companies including British Airways, Lufthansa and Swiss.

The Russian capital has been repeatedly rocked by attacks over the last years blamed on militants from the Northern Caucasus region, where Russia has for years been battling an Islamist insurgency.

Double bombings carried out by two female suicide bombers on the Moscow metro on March 29, 2010, killed 40 and wounded more than 100.

The Kremlin fought two wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s but the insurgency has now become more Islamist in tone and has spread to neighbouring Ingushetia and Dagestan.

However officials have repeatedly warned of the risk of attacks in Russia's heartland.
 

Date created : 2011-01-24

  • RUSSIA

    Seven police killed in deadly Dagestan shootout

    Read more

  • CHECHNYA

    Police kill at least 12 Chechen rebels after raid

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Security forces kill 'Moscow bombings planner' in Dagestan

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)