Terrorists Bomb Russian Supermarket In St. Petersburg

Firefighters and police officers work at the site of a blast in St. Petersburg on Dec. 27. Photographer: Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed a crackdown after a supermarket bomb injured 10 people in St. Petersburg, the latest in a series of attacks linked to Islamic extremists that have targeted his home city.

Putin said Thursday that he’d ordered the head of the Federal Security Service, in case of a threat to officers’ lives, “to act decisively, not to take any prisoners, to liquidate bandits on the spot,” in remarks at a televised ceremony with veterans of Russia’s military campaign in Syria.

The device that blew up late Wednesday in Russia’s second-largest city contained an explosive force equivalent to 200 grams of TNT, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a website statement. A man of non-Slavic appearance, who was recorded on security cameras, left the bomb in a backpack inside a locker in a Perekrestok supermarket before fleeing the scene, the Fontanka news service reported.

The attack came after Putin thanked U.S. President Donald Trump last week for information passed on by the Central Intelligence Agency that he said helped break up an Islamic State cell plotting to bomb St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and other locations in the city. The tip-off saved “many lives,” Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said.

In April, 14 people died in the St. Petersburg subway after a suicide bombing by a radical Islamist who was born in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan. It marked the first major attack targeting Russia since October 2015, when Islamic State claimed responsibility for a bomb that downed a plane carrying Russian tourists from Egypt to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 on board.

The plane attack came a month after Putin ordered Russia’s military to begin operations in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebel groups in that country’s civil war. Russian officials have warned that several thousand militants from Russia fighting in Syria could return to stage attacks following the defeat there of Islamic State. When Putin ordered the Russian offensive in Syria, he said the goal was to destroy extremists and stop that from happening.

Suicide-Bombers Hit Iranian Cultural Center and News Agency In Kabul…Heavy Casualties

[The as yet unidentified bombers struck the Shia Cultural Center as the place was packed with Afghans, gathered to remember the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979.  Odds are…this was either a Russian-sponsored attack, or staged to implicate Russia.]

At Least 40 Killed In Deadly Kabul Suicide Bombing

The Interior Ministry confirms that women, children and journalists were among those killed in Thursday’s deadly bombing.

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At least 40 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide attack on Tebyan center in Pule Sokhtia area of Kabul on Thursday morning, health officials confirmed.

According to officials, women, children and journalists are among the dead.

According to one survivor, social activists had gathered at the Tebyan social and cultural activity center for a meeting when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives.

The center also houses AVA news agency which is part of the Iranian-funded organization.

The attack took place at about 10.30am local time. Officials said there appears to have been more than one attacker.

According to them, there were at least two, maybe three suicide bombers who also used grenades in the attack.

The Taliban immediately denied any involvement in the attack.