VOLGOGRAD, 21 October. (Itar-Tass) – [UPDATED at 6:45pm with latest figures] The explosion on the bus which happened in Volgograd was triggered by a female suicide bomber, said Valery Safonov, first deputy head of the Volgograd regional Office of Investigation of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. He said that the woman was a “common law wife” of a militant.
“Sokolov’s wife Naida Afiyalova could be the suicide bomber. Together, they studied in a Moscow institution of high learning. Then, the young girl recruited Sokolov so that he left everything behind and went to Dagestan to join the militants,” Safonov said. He added that the suicide bomber’s identity is yet to be established.
Spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Monday: “According to preliminary reports, Dagestani native Naida Asiyalova, 30, triggered the detonation,” he noted. “According to information from the detectives, this woman entered the bus at a bus stop and the bomb went off almost immediately after this,” he added.
An explosion survivor told investigators that Akhiyalova boraded the bus almost before the explosion occurred.
A common law wife of gunman from the Makhachkala gang Dmitry Sokolov could have been the suicide bomber, a source in the Dagestani law enforcement agencies told Itar-Tass earlier on Monday. “The information is being checked that Naida Asiyalova, Sokolov’s common law wife, could have been the suicide bomber,” he said. “They studied together at a Moscow higher educational institution, where the young woman had recruited Sokolov and leaving everything in Moscow he went to Dagestan and joined the gunmen,” the source said.
Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass that criminal proceedings had been initiated on three charges: a terrorist act, a murder of two and more people and illegal trade in weapons and explosives.
Investigators are working at the blast site: they are talking to witnesses and survived bus passengers,studying recordings of video surveillance cameras.
Investigators have announced a series of forensic examinations the results of which will make it possible to make conclusions about the yield and type of the explosive device.
Six people died and 33 were injured after an explosion of a bus in Volgograd region, according to the press service of the Volgograd region head office of the Interior Ministry.
The condition of 10 people, who have been injured in the explosion, is considered severe, spokeswoman to the Emergency Situations Ministry Irina Rossius told Itar-Tass.
“Eight people are now at the intensive care unit,” she said, adding that doctors inspected another seven injured persons on the spot.
Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry is ready to send an aircraft to Volgograd to evacuate those who have been injured in the bus explosion in Volgograd, Rossius stated.
“The Il-76 plane, which is equipped with a medical module, is ready to leave for Volgograd if it necessary. A decision will be taken due to medical conditions,” the spokeswoman said.