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Former soldier suspected of train bombing
From The Independent
Islamic militant blamed for an earlier attack on same Russian rail line
Russian authorities suspect a former Russian soldier of being behind Friday's train derailment which killed at least 25 people and injured around 100. According to news reports yesterday, the Russian security services have marked Pavel Kosolapov, a Russian soldier turned Islamic militant, as one of the top suspects in the train derailment, which appears to have been caused by a bomb.
Little is known about Mr Kosolapov, and there is only one grainy photograph of him in public circulation. He is believed to have converted to Islam during the 1990s and become a close associate of Shamil Basayev, the terrorist mastermind behind the Beslan school siege, who was finally killed by Russian forces in 2006.
Mr Kosolapov is wanted in connection with a bomb incident that took place on the same line and derailed a similar Nevsky Express train two years ago. On that occasion, nobody was killed. Two men from Ingushetia, the restive province that borders Chechnya, are standing trial for the earlier incident, and one of them admitted his guilt in court last week.
"Our people have been challenged," said Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. "They want to frighten everybody who lives in Russia." The Patriarch later led a special service for the victims at Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral.