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St Petersburg Attack: Russian Investigators Confirm Jalilov as Man behind Metro Blast - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Russia’s state investigative committee said on Tuesday a native of Kyrgyzstan who had Russian citizenship was believed to be responsible for the deadly blast in St. Petersburg, as the toll from the attack rose to 14 dead and more than 50 injured.

The committee said in a statement its investigation had identified Akbarzhon Jalilov, whose genetic traces were also found on a bag containing an explosive device.

“From the genetic evidence and the surveillance cameras there is reason to believe that the person behind the terrorist act in the train carriage, was the same one who left a bag with an explosive device at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya station,” the statement added.

The Kyrgyz government identified the suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in 1995 and a native of Osh, citing “preliminary data” and saying that officials were cooperating with the Russian security services.

“It has been established that the explosive device may have been brought into action by a man whose fragmented remains were found in the third car of the train,” Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee, Russia’s federal criminal investigations body, said in a statement broadcast on state-run television. “He has been identified, but information about him is not being disclosed yet for the benefit of the investigation.”

The blast on Monday killed at least 14 people, the Russian health minister, Veronika Skvortsova, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday. 51 others were hospitalized after the blast, according to an updated list of casualties released by the Ministry for Emergency Situations.

Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, while not confirming any details of the investigation, said it was wrong to portray the attack as a result of Russia’s intervention in Syria.

“As far as the discussions by several media outlets that the terrorist act is a revenge for our Syria policy, this is cynical and despicable,” he said during a news conference with his Kyrgyz counterpart, broadcast live on state television.

Furthermore, the Kremlin spokesman says intelligence agencies will look into the fact that Monday’s subway blast in St. Petersburg happened while President Vladimir Putin was in town.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday that the fact that Putin was in the city when the bomb went off, although several dozen miles away from where he was hosting talks, “makes one pause” and is “something for the intelligence agencies to analyze.”

The explosion on a subway train under Russia’s second-largest city killed at least 14 people on Monday and wounded dozens.

INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION

Following the terrorist attack that hit St. Petersburg on Monday, many countries worldwide condemned the attack that was described as “terrible.”

“Terrible. Terrible thing happening all over the world. Absolutely, a terrible thing,” US President Donald Trump said when asked by journalists to comment on the St. Petersburg blast.

A source in the Saudi Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the bombing. The source offered condolences to the families of the victims, the Russian government and the Russian people, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

For his part, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım expressed condolences in a phone call to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over the deadly blast, Turkish NTV television reported.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin expressed his condolences to the victims of the attack on Twitter.

Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah sent a cable of condolences to President Putin over the victims of the terrorist explosion.

He expressed strongest condemnation of the State of Kuwait as well as full solidarity with the Russian people against this terrorist act.

Jordan, for its part, also condemned the attack.
Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani called on the international community to follow a holistic approach in combatting “blind terrorism” that hits everywhere in the world and threatens the future of humanity.

Momani, who is also the government spokesperson, stressed Jordan’s solidarity with the Russian government and people, expressing condolences over the loss of life in the incident and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel extended condolences to Russia on Monday. She sent a telegram to Russian President Vladimir Putin and denounced the blast as a “barbaric act.”

UAE also condemned the terrorist blast that targeted the metro line in the Russian metropolis and stressed its support to Russia to eradicate terrorism.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent condolence cables to Putin on the victims of the terrorist blast.

He offered his heartfelt condolences to the Russian president, wishing quick recovery to the injured.

He also stressed the UAE’s unwavering stance towards renouncing violence and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

He further called for strengthening international cooperation and concerted efforts to eradicate this serious scourge.

Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces also dispatched similar condolences to the Russian President.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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