Russia names suicide bombers

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17 Feb 2019

Russian security services have published the names of the alleged suicide bombers who carried out two deadly blasts last month, and say they had also arrested two suspected organisers.

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The National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC) released the names in a statement just a week before the Winter Olympic Games are set to open in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

It named the bombers who killed 34 people in the southern city of Volgograd in twin blasts on December 29 and 30 as Asker Samedov and Suleiman Magomedov.

The two were identified shortly after the attacks, the NAC said, adding that they were from an Islamist group based in Buinaksk, a town in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan.

The statement said security forces had also detained in Dagestan two brothers who helped the suicide bombers.

“Brothers Magomednabi and Tagir Batirov, who were involved in transporting the suicide bombers to Volgograd, have been detained,” it said.

A well-known North Caucasus Islamist website earlier this month posted a video of two men who it said were about to become suicide bombers in the “operation in Volgograd”.

The video included footage of the damage and scattered dead bodies from the blasts that struck the main Volgograd train station and a trolleybus.

In the video, two young men warned of “presents” in store for President Vladimir Putin and visitors to the Olympic host city Sochi.

Sochi’s proximity to the Russian North Caucasus and Georgia’s rebel region of Abkhazia, has led to unprecedented security measures.

Insurgents based in the North Caucasus are seeking to set up an Islamist state in the region and have vowed to disrupt the Sochi Games to undermine Putin.

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