Russian President #Vladimir Putin was in St. #Petersburg to attend a number of programs, among these was a scheduled meeting with the president of Belarus, Alexander G. Lukashenko, when there was a #Bomb blast in the subway. The blast was from a homemade bomb and it killed at least 11 people and left dozens injured. St. Petersburg is President Putin’s hometown and Russia’s second largest city and former capital.

Was it a terrorist attack?

New York Times reports that the train was traveling between the Technology Institute and Sennaya Square stations. Officials were tightlipped about whether it was a terrorist attack but President Vladimir Putin has indicated that all aspects were under investigation.

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No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb blast, but preliminary investigations reveal that it was a homemade device filled with shrapnel and it exploded in the third car from the front. Apart from the dead, another 40 are believed to have been injured, some of them children, as announced by the health minister, Veronika Skvortsova. A second bomb was found at the Vosstaniya Square station and it was disarmed.

The subway system in St. Petersburg carries nearly two million passengers every day and it was closed following the attack. Unconfirmed reports indicate the possibility of the involvement of a suicide bomber from Uzbekistan or a neighboring country in the bomb explosion.

After effects of the attack

Georgi S. Poltavchenko, the governor of St. Petersburg, has appealed to the people to remain alert, attentive and cautious, and behave in a responsible manner in view of the events.

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He has also declared a three-day period of mourning for those who died in the bomb blast.

As a precautionary measure, security is beefed up on the Moscow Metro and, all major airports. Metal detectors are already installed at the entrance to all stations in Moscow but these had been installed after terror attacks seven years ago and have not been in use recently.

This is not the first time that Russia has faced terrorist attacks. There have been several earlier incidents and, Islamic insurgents are believed to be behind these attacks. The leaders of Islamic State have threatened to attack Russia in retaliation of Moscow’s bombing campaigns and, involvement in Syria. President Putin deployed his troops to Syria in September 2015 with the intention of taking on the Islamic radicals.