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Kyrgyz-born Azimov identified as mastermind behind St. Petersburg terror attack

April 18, 16:47 UTC+3

Abror Azimov was detained in the Moscow region on Monday

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Abror Azimov

Abror Azimov

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Kyrgyz-born Abror Azimov, who was detained by police in the Moscow Region on Monday, was one of the masterminds behind the fatal terror attack on the subway system in St. Petersburg two weeks ago, a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee said on Tuesday.

"After being detained, Azimov confirmed his involvement in preparing for the terrorist attack," the spokesman said.

Azimov’s lawyer Armen Zadoyan told TASS earlier in the day that his defendant had pleaded guilty.

However, Azimov said, "I have no objections at all regarding my detention, but this is not true regarding a statement from an investigator that I had pleaded guilty."

"I do not deny my participation, but I was not directly involved," Azimov claimed. "I did not know what I was doing as I was only executing commands, which I received."

Svetlana Petrenko, Spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee, stated earlier that Azimov had been detained in the Moscow Region on Monday is a suspected accomplice in the terrorist act and his exact role in the crime was being established. According to Petrenko, firearms and ammunition were seized during Azimov’s detention.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) press service reported earlier that Azimov, a native of the Central Asian region, is one of the masterminds behind the terrorist attack in the St. Petersburg subway. According to the FSB, he trained the suicide bomber who detonated the bomb.

On April 3, an explosive device went off in a subway car of the St. Petersburg metro system as the train was en-route between Tekhnologichesky Institut and Sennaya Ploshchad stations. The terror attack killed 14 passengers including the individual who set off the explosive device, in addition to wounding 50 other riders. The Russian Investigative Committee disclosed the suicide bomber’s name - Akbarzhon Jalilov - born in 1995 and a native of Kyrgyzstan.

On April 6, the Russian Investigative Committee said eight criminal case suspects - Seyfulla Khakimov, Ibragibzhon Yermatov, Dilmurod Muidinov, Bakhram Yergashev, Azamzhon Makhmudov, Makhamadyusuf Mirzaalimov, Shokhista Karimova and Sodik Ortikov - had been detained. They were arrested the next day.

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