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?Emir of Caucasus? ordered train attack that killed 26, say Islamist militants
From The Times
Islamist extremists said yesterday that they planted the bomb that derailed a Russian express train, killing 26 people and injuring more than 100.
The claim of responsibility came from Chechen militants linked to Doku Umarov, a separatist warlord in the violent Russian North Caucasus.
A statement posted on a website sympathetic to the militants said that the attack on the Nevsky Express between Moscow and St Petersburg had been “prepared and carried . . . pursuant to the order of the Emir of Caucasus Emirate”.
Mr Umarov declared himself head of a “Caucasus Emirate” in 2007 as part of the rebels’ campaign to turn Russia’s Muslim-dominated republics of the North Caucasus into a single Islamic state.
Police told the Interfax news agency that they had no direct evidence linking Friday’s bombing to Chechen militants, but the chief Russian investigator, Aleksandr Bastrykin, said that it bore their hallmarks. His office disclosed that he had been injured when a second bomb exploded at the crash scene on Saturday.
The regional chief in St Petersburg of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry told reporters that the terrorists may have been plotting a much bigger disaster. Leonid Belyayev said that the Nevsky Express had been due to pass a train coming in the opposite direction at the spot where the blast occurred but that it had been running a minute late on the night. “If the two trains had met, the tragedy could have been worse,” Mr Belyayev said.
About 1,500 people gathered for an anti-terrorism rally in St Petersburg yesterday, organised by the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
In a sign of fears stirred up by the attack about a new wave of terrorism, some held up banners urging the authorities to “find and annihilate” those responsible.
None of the British 'Lets give the poor alienated youth lots more of our luvverly money for a sports centre, gym, libary and games'