Monday: Two Suicide Bombings Kill at Least 37 in Moscow Subway Stations
Emergency workers carry a victim’s body at Moscow’s Lubyanka metro station. (Photo by Dima Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images.)
Updated 1:30pm ET
Russian authorities are continuing to respond and react to Monday’s attacks by two female suicide bombers who blew themselves up in separate jam-packed Moscow subway stations, killing at least 37 people.
Separately, after returning home from an announced visit to Afghanistan, President Obama said in a statement: “The American people stand united with the people of Russia in opposition to violent extremism and heinous terrorist attacks that demonstrate such disregard for human life, and we condemn these outrageous acts.”
We’ll have more on the bombings on Monday’s PBS NewsHour. For now, The Guardian has an interactive map of the two stations here. The Washington Post offers this slide show of the aftermath, as does the BBC. And the AP has this story on how U.S. transit agencies are beefing up security in reaction to the attack.
Updated 12:42pm ET
The morning rush hour in Moscow turned into a deadly scene Monday when two female suicide bombers attacked a pair of subway stations in the Russian capital, killing at least 37 people and injuring more than 100 others, officials said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, officials across Russia suspect Islamist separatists from the North Caucasus, the multiethnic region in the southwest of the nation that includes Chechnya.
The first blast occurred just before 8 a.m. local time at the Lubyanka station, steps from the headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB. Roughly 45 minutes later, a second explosion went off less than three miles away as passengers boarded a train at the Park Kultury station.
“It’s completely obvious that this action was carefully planned to have a destabilizing effect on the situation within the country and within society,” said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at an emergency government meeting. He vowed Russia would “continue the fight against terrorism unswervingly and to the end.”
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, traveling in Serbia, responded by saying, “I am confident that law enforcement agencies will do everything to find and punish the criminals.” He added, “The terrorists will be destroyed.”
Below are two videos from the scene posted to YouTube by RussiaToday, an English-language news channel financed in part by the Russian government, according to the New York Times. Warning: Some of the images are graphic.
Russia has struggled with terrorism over the past 20 years, stemming from wars with Chechnya in 1994 and again in 2000. The nation had been experiencing a period of relative calm up until November, when a bombing on board an express train traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg killed 26 people.
Monday’s bombing could carry broad consequences for Russia if a link to Chechnya is discovered. As the Economist points out, “Big terrorist attacks have in the past been used by the Kremlin to justify tightening its grip on power and curbing the opposition.” The second war in Chechnya, in 2000, helped propel Putin to power, and “was accompanied by a move to bring Russian television under Kremlin control. In 2004, after the school siege in Beslan, in North Ossetia, Mr Putin scrapped regional elections.”
We’ll have more on the bombings here on the Rundown and on Monday’s PBS NewsHour.
S. Korean Defense Minister: Mine May Have Sunk Ship
South Korea’s defense minister told lawmakers Monday that North Korea may have deliberately directed an underwater mine toward naval ship that exploded and sank three days ago near a disputed maritime border. Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said a mine placed by North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War may also have struck the ship.
Fifty-eight people were rescued from the South Korean ship, however 46 others are missing and believed trapped inside the wreckage.
Rio Tinto Employees Sentenced
Four employees from the mining giant Rio Tinto have been sentenced by a Chinese court to jail terms ranging from seven to 14 years for accepting bribes during negotiations between the firm and China over iron ore prices. The judge in the case said the harsh sentences were meant “to protect market order and the normal management of business.”
U.S. Consumer Spending Rises
In a hopeful sign for the U.S. economy ahead of Friday’s crucial jobs report, consumer spending rose in February for a fifth straight month, according to numbers from the Commerce Department.