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Suicide Bomber Detonates Device in Russia’s Busiest Airport

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Moscow's Iconic St. Basil's CathedralA terrorist attack in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport has killed at least 35 people and injured 130 more after a suicide bomber detonated a homemade bomb in a busy area near international arrivals.

The blast released an explosion equivalent to seven kilograms of TNT. It was particularly lethal because the bomb was stuffed with metal objects to increase the shrapnel from the explosion.

The explosion took place in the arrivals hall, a public area where passengers are met after going through customs.

Reported casualties include nationals of the United Kingdom, Italy and Slovakia.

Russian security forces are still searching for two other men who helped carry out the attack, but no group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack.

However, it is suspected that the attack is related to a bombing last March where two female suicide bombers set off explosions in Moscow’s underground metro. That attack, which left 39 dead, was tied to Chechen leader Doku Umarov, who heads the Islamic separatist movement in Russia’s north Caucasus region.

Learn more about the previous attack in Moscow: Moscow Metro Bombing: Security Tightened For American Mass Transit.

A week before today’s bombing, Russian security services were tipped off that a terrorist attack was planned at a Moscow airport. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has admitted that security regulations were not being followed properly.

In light of the attacks, President  Medvedev canceled a trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In a television address, he vowed to “track down and punish” those responsible for the attacks.

Meanwhile, President Obama extended his condolences to those killed in the attack, calling it “an outrageous act of terrorism against the Russian people.”

Despite the attacks, normal operations at Domodedovo airport have resumed, but all of Moscow’s airports, metro stations, and rail terminals are in an elevated state of alert.

Travelers arriving at Russian airports should expect delays, as all passengers arriving will be subject to increased security screening.

By Fernando Padilla for PeterGreenberg.com.

Related links: The Telegraph (UK), US News & World ReportChristian Science MonitorCNNNPR

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