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Caucasus link to airport terror

world Updated: Jan 26, 2011 00:06 IST

AFP
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President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday that clear breaches in security had allowed a suspected female suicide bomber linked to Russia's Northern Caucasus to slaughter 35 people at Moscow's main airport.

In comments broadcast on national television, Medvedev demanded answers from Domodedovo airport over how it let the bomber wander into arrivals and set off a charge just as passengers from several international flights were arriving.

The blast 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.

Sources told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency that the attack bore all the hallmarks of militants from the overwhelmingly Muslim Caucasus region who have behind a string of attacks in the Russian capital over the last years.

The bomber may have been a woman, the agency said, although initial reports had said it was a man in his 30s. Chechen militants are known to use female suicide bombers, known as "black widows" for such attacks.

Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed revenge on Tuesday for a deadly suicide bomb attack at a Moscow airport that killed at least 35 people and injured more than 100.

"This was an abominable crime in both its senselessness and its cruelty," Putin told a meeting of ministers in Moscow. I do not doubt that this crime will be solved and that retribution is inevitable."

The blast put the country on high alert and saw Russia receive an outpouring of support from Western capitals as well as the United Nations and NATO. AFP