38 SLAUGHTERED BY THE BLACK WIDOWS; Women Suicide Bombers Hit Subway

The Mirror (London, England), March 30, 2010 | Go to article overview

38 SLAUGHTERED BY THE BLACK WIDOWS; Women Suicide Bombers Hit Subway


Byline: CHRIS HUGHES

TWO female suicide bombers killed at least 38 Moscow commuters yesterday and injured around 65 more by blowing themselves up on underground trains during rush hour.

The first of the 7/7-style attacks, blamed on Chechen Islamic fanatics, came just before 8am on a train that was standing in the Lubyanka station beneath the HQ of Russia's intelligence agency the FSB. It killed 24.

Forty minutes later a second explosion ripped through a train six stops away at Park Kultury, leaving another 14 dead.

TV film showed the dead and wounded being ferried from the station to fleets of waiting ambulances. Bodies were also shown slumped against the entrance to the Lubyanka station.

A survivor named Alexei said: "I was moving up on the escalator when I heard a loud bang, a blast.

"A door near the passage way arched, was ripped out and a cloud of dust came down on the escalator. People started running, panicking, falling on each other." Shaken Valentin Popov, 19, said: "I saw a dead person for the first time in my life."

The FSB said it found body parts from two female suicide bombers and they were linked to Chechen separatists fighting for a breakaway Islamic state in the North Caucasus.

The Chechens use women bombers known as Black Widows because they lost husbands, brothers or sons in the battles that guerrillas have been fighting against Russia since the 90s.

In 2004 Black Widows twice bombed the Moscow underground, killing 39 and wounding 100 in one attack.

In the same year they also blew up two passenger planes that took off from Moscow airport and took part in the Beslan atrocity, in which 330 died after Russian troops stormed a school seized by Chechen separatists.

President Obama and Gordon Brown both condemned yesterday's attacks and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said: "A crime that is terrible in its consequences and heinous in its manner has been committed. …

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