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Western leaders offer condolences to Russia after St. Petersburg metro blast

April 03, 17:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An explosive device went off in a train carriage in St. Petersburg, at least nine people have been killed and more than 50 injured

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© Piotr Kovalev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland expressed condolences to Russians over the deadly explosion in St. Petersburg metro on Monday.

"I am shocked and saddened by the news of deadly blasts in St Petersburg. I extend my sincere condolences to our member state Russia," Jagland wrote on his Twitter page.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders offered condolences to the families of the victims. "I express my condolences to the families of the victims and I think of all the wounded in the explosion in St. Petersburg," he wrote on Twitter.

Foreign ministers of 28 EU member-states at the meeting of the Council of the European Union are following the news, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said. "Following the news coming from Saint Petersburg, together with all EU Foreign ministers. Our thoughts are with all people of Russia," she wrote on her Twitter page.

President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pedro Agramunt also said on Twitter: "Devastated by news from #StPetersburg, even more so as I was there last week. Terrible tragedy. My thoughts with the victims & those injured."

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter: "We are receiving terrible news from St. Petersburg. We express condolences to all the victims and their families."

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also expressed condolences to the families of the victims. "Horrified by news of explosion in St Petersburg. My sympathies are with the victims and their families," he wrote on Twitter.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter: "Deepest sympathy to those affected by the #StPetersburg metro explosion, their loved ones and the Russian people."

Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Lamberto Zannier also offered condolences over the blast: "Horrific news about the explosions in St #Petersburg metro. My deepest condolences to families of the victims."

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas also expressed deep regret over the blast. "My sincere condolences to the relatives of the deal, I wish the soonest recovery to the injured," he wrote on his Facebook page.

The United States’ embassy in Russia conveyed its condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the St. Petersburg metro blast, the embassy’s spokesperson Maria Olson said.

"Shocked and saddened by explosions in St.Pete and the resulting deaths and injuries. Our hearts go out to victims and families," she wrote on Twitter.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has expressed his condolences to Russian leader Vladimir Putin over a blast in the St. Petersburg metro system.

"I also want to express my condolences to you and convey my condolences to the relatives [of those killed and injured in the metro blast], to St. Petersburg residents who are reacting very painfully and acutely to such things," the Belarusian president said at the beginning of a meeting with Russian President Putin.

"No one will let us live calmly and therefore we must be ready for everything; there are a lot of challenges in today’s world and we are not living in an isolated world. We understand this together with you as it is not the first year that we have been working in these posts," Lukashenko said.

As the Belarusian president said, "security of our Fatherland" should be one of the main topics of today’s meeting.

"And we will again be talking about how we should live further in this world and how we should protect the interests of our people," Lukashenko said.

Syria expresses solidarity with Russia and condemns the blast in St. Petersburg’s metro, the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement released by SANA news agency on Monday.

"The Syrians are condoling with the families of those killed and injured and express their solidarity with Russia, its people and government," the document said.

An explosive device went off in a train carriage between the metro stations Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut in St. Petersburg at around 2.40 p.m. Moscow time (11.40 GMT) on Monday, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said. Several people have been killed and wounded. Emergencies teams are working at the scene.

Some media reports said there were two blasts, but later the National Anti-Terrorism Committee confirmed only one explosion in the metro. According to preliminary reports, ten people were killed by an explosion, emergency services told TASS.

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