Suspected suicide bomber strikes busy Moscow airport

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, January 24, 2011 10:24 EDT
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Moscow’s busiest airport was devastated by an explosion Monday afternoon, caused by a suspected suicide bomber, according to Russian state media.

The attack hit Moscow’s Domodedvo airport, the Russian capital’s busiest of three. State news agencies reported 35 fatalities and an additional 150 people were injured by an explosion near the baggage claim area.

The cause of Monday’s blast was as-yet unconfirmed but state media claimed a suicide bomber was to blame. A statement by the Kremlin said an investigation was already underway. Initial reports suggested the use of a hand-made device containing numerous metal objects that acted as makeshift shrapnel.

The same airport was the point of origin for two suicide bombers in 2004, who detonated their explosives in mid-flight killing 88 people.

Moscow’s subway system was the site of a terrorist attack in April of last year, where two young Chechen women detonated suicide vests and killed 38 people.

At the time observers called it a frightening return to a tactic exploited over a decade ago by the Chechen militant Shamil Basayev, who launched a “martyr’s brigade” of female suicide bombers known as the “black widows.”

The group was also behind a terrorist incident in Oct. 2002, when Chechen militants seized Moscow’s Dubrovka theater and held over 800 hostages. Nearly 130 of the hostages were killed in the Russian military’s response, with many falling victim to a weaponized aerosol narcotic that was sprayed into the theater.

This video, showing the first few moments after the explosion, was published online by the Russia Today network on Jan. 24, 2010. Warning: This video features graphic content.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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