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St. Petersburg Bomber Identified as Kyrgyz-Born Russian Citizen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Emergency services personnel walk at the entrance to Technological Institute metro station in Saint Petersburg on April 3, 2017. (AFP)

The suspect in a deadly blast in the Russian city of St. Petersburg is a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen, announced the intelligence agency in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the GKNB security service identified the suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in the city of Osh in 1995.

The intelligence agency said it is cooperating with Russian authorities to help the investigation.

It provided no other details.

In the past two decades, Russian trains and planes have been frequent targets of attack, usually blamed on extremist militants.

Neither authorities in Russia nor in Kyrgyzstan have specified whether Monday’s attack was a suicide bombing or whether the bomber got away. The Interfax news agency said authorities believe the suspect, a 23-year old who came from ex-Soviet Central Asia and was linked to radical groups, carried the explosive device onto the train in a rucksack.

Within two hours of the blast, authorities had found and deactivated another bomb at another busy station, the anti-terror agency said. That station is a major transfer point for passengers on two lines and serves the railway station to Moscow.

Eleven people were killed and 40 wounded in the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, his hometown.

The entire St. Petersburg subway system was shut down and evacuated, but partial service resumed after about six hours.

Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation of six million, is Russia’s close political ally and hosts a Russian military airbase.