May 18, 2013
Suicide bomber kills 35 at Russia's biggest airport
A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people at Russia's biggest airport in an attack that bore the hallmarks of militants fighting for an Islamist state in the north Caucasus region.
President Dmitry Medvedev vowed to track down and punish those behind the bombing, which also injured about 130 people, including foreigners, during the busy late afternoon at Moscow's Domodedovo airport. Dense smoke filled the hall and a fire burnt along one wall.
"The explosion was right near me, I was not hit but I felt the shock wave -people were falling," said Yekaterina Alexandrova, a translator who was waiting in the crowded arrivals area to meet a client flying in from abroad.
Thick drops of blood were scattered across the snow-covered tarmac outside the arrivals hall, where traces of shrapnel were found.
"I heard a loud boom... we thought someone had just dropped something. But then I saw casualties being carried away," a check-in attendant who gave her name as Elena told reporters at Domodedovo, which is some 22 km southeast of Moscow.
The Kremlin said Medvedev, who has called the insurgency in the north Caucasus the biggest threat to Russia's security, delayed his departure for the Davos international business forum in Switzerland.
The rebels have vowed to take their bombing campaign from the violence-wracked north Caucasus to the Russian heartland, hitting transport and economic targets. They have also levelled threats at the 2014 Winter Olympics, scheduled for Sochi, a region they claim as part of their "emirate."
"Security will be strengthened at large transport hubs," Medvedev wrote on Twitter. "We mourn the victims of the terrorist attack at Domodedovo airport. The organisers will be tracked down and punished."
No group has yet taken responsibility for the attack, but dozens of Internet surfers, writing in Russian, praised the suicide bomber on unofficial Islamist site kavkazcenter.com.