Russian investigators have identified suspect in St. Petersburg metro blast

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Russian bombing

Russian investigators have identified Akbarzhon Jalilov as the man behind the St Petersburg metro blast.

The investigators believe the 22-year-old detonated the bomb inside the metro carriage, killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens. 

CGTN’s Julia Lyubova reports.

People are laying flowers day and night in St Petersburg to remember those who were killed in a bomb blast on Monday. 

“I was scared and worried, I couldn’t calm down.  I was worried about my relatives who were coming back from work, university and school,” said a concerned resident.

“I felt so sorry for the innocent people who died for nothing. Ordinary Russian people suffered because of terrorism, because of hate,” said another concern resident.

The explosion occurred at about 2:30 pm local time as the train left Sennaya Square towards the Technological Institute station.  The carriage door was blown off and witnesses described seeing injured passengers with bloodied and blackened bodies.

The attack was condemned worldwide.  Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a telegram to Vladimir Putin expressing his condolences.  Foreign diplomats paid their respects to the victims in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

 “I am convinced that the solidarity we’ve seen not only from our CIS allies, but from almost all other world states, reflects common understanding that we need to finally join efforts, instead of trying to use this or that extremist group to reach narrow geopolitical goals,” Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister said.

Russia’s investigative committee named Akbarzhon Jalilov as the man behind the blast.  His genetic traces were found on a bag containing an explosive device.  The 22-year old was born in Kyrgyzstan and had obtained Russian citizenship. 

The investigators said he planted a second bomb at a different metro station that did not explode.

For many years Russia suffered frequent terrorist attacks from radical Islamist groups in the North Caucasus.  But since 2015, Russia has been on alert after ISIL has repeatedly threatened revenge for its military intervention in Syria, and has been linked to recent bombings elsewhere in Europe. However, the investigation is still underway as it’s hasn’t been confirmed which group was behind this attack.