Female suicide bomber kills 14 at Russian railway station

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A screen capture of a TV program shows a scene of the explosion site at a railway station in Volgograd, Russia, on Dec. 29, 2013.

A screen capture of a TV program shows a scene of the explosion site at a railway station in Volgograd, Russia, on Dec. 29, 2013.

MOSCOW, DECEMBER 29 — A female suicide bomber blew herself up at a railway station in southern Russia on Sunday, killing at least 14 people, authorities said.

Dozens of others were injured in the explosion, which occurred at 12:45 p.m. Moscow time (0845 GMT) in Volgograd, a city near the volatile North Caucasus region, regional law enforcement agencies told local media.

The suicide bomber detonated her explosives in front of the metal detection arches inside the main entrance to the railway station, local media reported.

Police are currently investigating the blast on-site.

Live TV footage showed the railway station was cordoned off and ringed with ambulances and police cars.

A video clip aired by the Russiya-24 TV channel recorded the moment of the blast. The main building of the railway station was suddenly rocked by a powerful explosion inside, with heavy smokes spewing from the entrance following a sparkling flame.

“The investigative department of the Investigative Committee for Volgograd region launched a criminal case in relation to the explosion,” said committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin.

The railway station’s security system prevented the suicide bomber from entering the waiting room and thus averted greater casualties, he added.

According to the Emergency Situations Ministry’s regional branch, there were no emissions of toxic agents after the blast. The ministry has sent an airplane with a medical team to Volgograd to take the injured to Moscow for treatment.

President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to take all measures to assist those wounded in the explosion, his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

The president ordered the Investigative Committee to fulfil required investigative actions and law enforcement agencies to ensure security.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also urged his government to offer necessary assistance to the victims, said the government’s press service.

The Interior Ministry said that after the fatal blast, security has been tightened at railway stations and airports in the country.

In September, Putin warned that the situation in the North Caucasus remained a challenge for state security. He called on all law enforcement departments to be mobilized to maintain law, order and peace in the region.

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