[Stop the Russian Suicide-Bombers At Their Source–The next time that a Wahhabi suicide bomber hits in Russia Mr. Putin should bomb the state sponsors of the Chechen terrorists in Riyadh. After all, Bandar admitted that the Saudis controlled Doku’s mass-murderers.]
VOLGOGRAD, December 30 (RIA Novosti) – A fatal bomb explosion ripped apart a trolleybus in Volgograd on Monday morning, killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens, in the second terrorist attack in the southern Russian city in less than 24 hours.
Several of the 28 wounded, who officials said included a six-month-old infant, are in serious condition, meaning the death toll could still rise.
Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said investigators believe a male suicide bomber was responsible for the attack, which he said was linked to another fatal bombing in Volgograd one day earlier.
Authorities believe an explosion at a railway station on Sunday afternoon that killed 17 people and injured over 40 others was also the work of a suicide bomber.
Markin said that remains of both suspected bombers, which were recovered at the scenes, are undergoing DNA testing.
Monday’s blast marks the third such attack in Volgograd in two months, and comes just weeks before Russia is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in February in the city of Sochi.
The bomb tore through the trolleybus packed with morning commuters at about 8:10 a.m. (0410 GMT), the Investigative Committee said.
Television footage filmed near a market in the city’s Dzerzhinsky district showed debris strewn across the street around the blackened shell of the trolleybus, its roof blown outward by the explosion.
State television said the force of the blast also blew out the windows of the nearby houses.
Local resident Sergei Stukalov told RIA Novosti that passengers began getting off buses and trams and walked to work after hearing about the explosion.
President Vladimir Putin has ordered a tightening of security in Volgograd, Moscow and throughout the country after the back-to-back attacks, and met with the heads of Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry on Monday.
Putin also asked to receive daily reports from the National Anti-Terrorism Committee on measures to bolster security in Volgograd, a committee spokesman told journalists.
Terrorist incidents have persisted in southern Russia despite the authorities’ efforts to step up security precautions ahead of the Olympics starting in February.
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games – a major prestige project for Putin and Russia – open on February 7 in Sochi. The city located about 430 miles (690 kilometers) from Volgograd, which was formerly known as Stalingrad and remains best remembered for the grueling siege it endured during World War II.
Six people were killed and 37 injured in another terrorist attack in Volgograd in late October, when a bomb carried by a young woman from the southern republic of Dagestan went off while she was traveling on a crowded commuter bus.
On Friday, a car bomb killed three people in the city of Pyatigorsk, which is 530 kilometers south of Volgograd and 270 kilometers east of Sochi.
The cities blighted by the latest attacks are located in and near the North Caucasus, a volatile multiethnic region that suffers frequent attacks on officials, police and civilians by local Islamist militant groups.
The persisting violence has its origins in a separatist struggle in the unruly republic of Chechnya in the early 1990s that has evolved into an Islamist insurgency that has spread to neighboring predominantly Muslim republics, particularly Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Most of the militants responsible for terrorist attacks in Russia over the last decade – including female suicide bombers who have taken part in 20 attacks claiming at least 780 lives since June 2000 – have come from Dagestan.
Updated with number of dead and injured, information about suicide bomber, quotes, background detail throughout