A militant Islamist group claimed responsibility today for last weekend's deadly Russian train bombing, as investigators said the well-planned attack resembled tactics used by Chechen rebels.
The so-called "Caucasus Emirate," an umbrella group uniting various Islamist factions, said in a statement posted on a Chechen rebel website that it was behind the attack that killed 26 people and injured around 100 others.
"This operation was prepared and executed along with other acts of sabotage, planned from the start of this year and successfully carried out against a set of strategically important sites in Russia, on the orders of Caucasus Emir Dokku Umarov," the statement said.
There was no immediate way of verifying the claim. The statement was posted on KavkazCenter.com, a website that has been used as a mouthpiece by Chechen rebels.
Umarov is the self-proclaimed leader of the Caucasus Emirate, which has sought to establish Islamic Sharia rule in Russia's largely Muslim North Caucasus region.
Friday's bombing struck the Nevsky Express, an upscale passenger train running from Moscow to Saint Petersburg popular with well-off Russians and foreign tourists.
Prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into the blast, which was the first major attack to hit Russia's heartland, outside the North Caucasus, since a spate of suicide bombings in Moscow in 2003 and 2004.