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Russian Train Wreck 'an Act of Terror' 

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Old 11-28-2009, 08:17 PM
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Russian Train Wreck 'an Act of Terror'

Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- Investigators have found "elements of an explosive device" at the site of the derailment of an express train in Russia and believe an act of terror caused the deadly incident.

The derailment killed at least 26 people and injured about 100, but there was no immediate word on who or what group might have been behind the action.

"One can say with certainty that that was indeed an act of terror," Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the investigative committee of the Russian prosecutor's office, told CNN.

He would not elaborate on exactly what kind of "elements of an explosive device" the investigators discovered earlier, but said the crater found beneath the railroad bed was "1.5 meter by 1 meter in size."

Later Saturday morning, a second device went off on nearby tracks going the opposite direction, Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russian Railways, told Russian TV. He said no one was injured in the smaller explosion.

Markin said investigators are "studying the site of the accident, questioning the witnesses and conducting all kinds of forensic and technical examinations."

Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov said, "Criminology experts have come to a preliminary conclusion that there was an explosion of an improvised explosive device equivalent to seven kilos of TNT.


"Several leads are being pursued now. A criminal case has been opened under Article 205 ("terrorism") and Article 22 ("illegal possession or storage of weapons or explosives") of the Russian Criminal Code."

Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said on TV that there are possible suspects in this crime.

"There are several people who could be involved in this crime," he said. One of them, he said, is a "stocky-built man of about 40 years old, with red hair."

"There are some traces left at the crime scene which could help in the investigation," he said. "We are getting a lot of information now, and I am very thankful for people who have responded to our requests to render their assistance in investigating this crime."

A total of 681 people -- 20 of them employees -- were on the Nevsky Express as it traveled from Moscow to St. Petersburg on Friday night. The Nevsky Express is Russia's fastest train, equivalent to a bullet train.

The crash happened at 9:25 p.m. (1825 GMT) when the train was 280 kilometers (174 miles) from St. Petersburg, Russian state radio said.

At least three carriages carrying more than 130 people derailed and turned on their sides, and emergency workers were working to free anyone who may still be trapped inside.

Yakunin told Russian TV that the company will pay a compensation of 500,000 rubles ($17,240) to the victims' families and 200,000 rubles ($6,897) to those injured.

The crash happened 44 minutes after another high-speed train, the Sapsan, had successfully traveled from Moscow to St. Petersburg on the same rails, a representative of the Russian Transport Police said during a video conference call Saturday.

In August 2007, an explosion on the tracks derailed the Nevsky Express, injuring 60 people in what authorities called a terrorist act. About 27,000 passengers on 60 trains were facing delays Saturday as a result of the accident, Russian State TV reported





The Nevsky Express derailed with nearly 700 on board as it ran through remote countryside between the capital Moscow and the second city, St Petersburg.

Investigators found "elements of an explosive device" at the scene of Friday's attack, a statement said.

Officials said a second, less powerful device went off on Saturday near the site of the first, but no-one was hurt.

There was no immediate confirmed claim of responsibility for the blast on Friday evening, which hit a train popular with government officials and business executives at peak travel time.

"Criminology experts say, on the basis of preliminary information, that an improvised explosive device, equivalent to 7kg (15 lb) of TNT, had gone off," said Alexander Bortnikov, head of Russia's domestic intelligence service.


At least three of the 14 carriages left the tracks as the train reportedly approached speeds up 200 km/h (130mph).

Russia's prosecutor-general has opened a criminal case on terrorism charges, Russian news agencies say.

If terrorism is confirmed as the cause, observers say the derailment would represent the deadliest attack outside the volatile North Caucasus region for five years.

'Attack on elite'


I think we can expect the Russian authorities to come up with some name soon, because this attack is politically very embarrassing

Pavel Felgenhauer
Novaya Gazeta newspaper
Pavel Felgenhauer, defence correspondent for Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper, told the BBC News website the key suspects for investigators would be "either militants from Russia's North Caucasus region or nationalist extremists, pro-Nazi groups".

"I think we can expect the Russian authorities to come up with some names soon, because this attack is politically very embarrassing.

"This is an expensive, high speed train, used by an elite which has been pushing to transfer parts of government functions to St Petersburg. We already have reports of several high-ranking government and local officials among the dead.

"Whoever is responsible, this attack clearly seems aimed not so much at the public, but directly at the ruling class."

'Loud bang'

Hundreds of rescuers and officials worked through the night at the scene near the town of Bologoye, about 400km (250 miles) north-west of Moscow.

Some reports say as many as 39 people have died.

The train was reported to be carrying around 650 passengers and two dozen or so staff.

About 90 people are in hospital, some taken there by helicopter.

Many of the injured are said to be in a serious condition.

According to some reports, the scene of the crash, in wooded countryside, was so remote it took emergency services two hours to get there.

Passengers spoke of a loud bang just before the derailment.

Russian television channels broadcast a recording of a mobile phone call from the train driver to the emergencies ministry.

"There was an explosion under the locomotive," he said. "I do not know what we hit. We are derailed. The locomotive and carriages, I do not know yet what else, everything is in smoke. "

Federal prosecutors' spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass news agency that a crater found at the site was 1.5m (5ft) wide and 0.7m deep.

"Indeed this was a terrorist attack," he said.

In 2007, a bomb on the same line derailed a train, injuring nearly 30 passengers.

Two men suspected of having links to Chechen rebels were accused of planting a bomb next

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Old 11-28-2009, 09:52 PM
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Re: Russian Train Wreck 'an Act of Terror'

Police officers stand guard at the site of a train derailment near the village of Uglovka, about 400 km (249 miles) northwest of Moscow, November 28, 2009. At least 39 people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a Russian express train was derailed late on Friday in what the head of the national railway company said could have been a bomb attack.

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Old 11-28-2009, 10:28 PM
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Re: Russian Train Wreck 'an Act of Terror'

thanks !!!

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Old 11-29-2009, 12:53 PM
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Re: Russian Train Wreck 'an Act of Terror'

Hate to say it b/c so many Innocent lives were lost, but I hope this was Taliban, so maybe Russia joins the war on terror.

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Old 11-29-2009, 02:00 PM
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Re: Russian Train Wreck 'an Act of Terror'

Islamic separitists ....chechians (sp).....It all boils right down to ISLAMIST IDEAOLOGY.....and where there is religious zealotry, there are ALWAYS the seeds of terrorism.

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:44 PM
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Re: Russian Train Wreck 'an Act of Terror'

I REALLY hate to say this but the way old school Russia dealt with Islamic fundamentalists was the way to go. If you notice they always had the fundamentalists living side by side with everyone else before the fall of communism in Russia. That's pretty much because they told them you WILL live with them and you WILL behave or you WILL enjoy living in Siberia instead and mine salt. The only way to deal with terrorist ideology is with a hard, iron fist. I was watching a National Geographic show about a special police force in Kazakhstan that deals with high crime and terrorism. They do it right, swift and brutal with no one like the ACLU breathing down their neck. It's a true zero tolerance approach unlike our (American) policy of zero tolerance where they catch them and make them do Silent Hill cosplay and play naked Twister.

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