St. Petersburg Bombing Suspect Identified; Death Toll Is At 14
Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET
Russian investigators believe a man suspected of carrying out Monday's explosion on a St. Petersburg subway train died in the attack. The death toll has risen to 14 people, but officials say it could have been far worse, as a second, unexploded device was found at a different metro stop.
The device that detonated on the train was set off by a man "whose remains were found in the third car," says the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, which is leading the inquiry.
The committee identified that man as 22-year-old Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, and said he also planted the second device. He is a native of Kyrgyzstan, in Central Asia, who had received Russian citizenship, according to state-run news outlet TASS, citing Kyrgyzstan's National Security Committee.
"Criminalists found his DNA on a bag with a bomb left at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station," spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko of the Russian investigative committee said in a statement. "Conclusions of DNA tests and CCTV footage give the investigators enough reason to presume that the man who committed the terrorist attack in the metro car, was also the one who had left the bag with the bomb at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya station."
That news is a new twist in accounts of the attack; some witnesses had reportedly told police they saw a man leave a bag or suitcase in the train car as he exited the train.
Charles Maynes reports for NPR from Moscow that police had issued a warrant for a bearded man seen at or near the station who was dressed in a style typical of Russia's Muslim-majority North Caucasus region. He says that man went to police to tell them he wasn't involved in the attack.
Investigators are still reviewing security camera and other footage that might have caught anyone involved in the attack, says the Russian Investigative Committee.
The blast struck around 2:40 p.m. local time, on a train that was traveling between St. Petersburg's Sennaya Square and the Technological Institute station. The train's driver "made a right decision not to stop the train and took it to the next station so that passengers could evacuate and the injured could be helped," said spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko of the Russian Investigative Committee.
Another worker in St. Petersburg's metro system is also being praised, for spotting a suspicious bag that turned out to contain a shrapnel-laden bomb in the station at Vosstaniya Square. That metro inspector contacted bomb experts and led people away from the area, St. Petersburg Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko said Tuesday.
Once that deadly package at Vosstaniya Square was identified, police asked the federal FSB to cut off all cellphone service in the area, according to news outlet RBC. The request was made in case the bomb was designed to be triggered by a phone call; service was shut down for around 30 minutes, RBC reports.
The attack coincided with a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was in town for a pro-Kremlin media forum in St. Petersburg, his hometown.
Three days of official mourning have now begun in the city.
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