Suicide bomber kills 31 at Moscow airport
Moscow, January 24, 2011
At least 31 people were killed and more than 130 injured on Monday in a suicide bombing at Russia's biggest airport, state-run TV reported.
Russia's rouble-dominated stock market MICEX fell by nearly two percent following the blast, which ripped through the arrival hall at Moscow's Domodedovo airport at 1332 GMT, the airport's press office said in a statement.
Smoke wafted out of the baggage hall and people were seen running out of the emergency exits at the airport, local media reported. The investigative committee of the prosecutor's office said the bomb had been classified as a terrorist attack -- the first of its kind in the Russian heartland this year.
Analysts have said rebels waging an Islamist insurgency in Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus were planning to increase their violent campaign in the Russian heartland in 2011 as the country prepares for the 2012 presidential elections.
Security has been beefed up at Moscow's other two airports, which will also receive diverted passengers who were flying towards Domodedovo, media reported.
Moscow suffered its worst attack in six years in March 2010 when two female suicide bombers from Russia's volatile Dagestan region set off explosives in the metro, killing 40 people.
The Kremlin is struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, and rebels have repeatedly vowed they will take their battle to the Russian heartland. - Reuters