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Relatives say subway bomber suspect lived several years in Ukraine — media

Another suspect in St.Petersburg blast was detained near Moscow on Monday

BISHKEIK, April 18. /TASS/. Relatives of Kyrgyz-born Abror Azimov, suspected of masterminding a deadly terrorist attack on the subway system in Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg, say he had lived several years in Ukraine before moving to Russia, Kyryz news agency reported on Tuesday.

"Abror and Akram (his elder brother) have never been religious fanatics and did not go to Mosque," it quoted relatives living in Jalal-Abad in southwestern Kyrgyzstan. "They left Kyrgyzstan for Ukraine in 2009, but at in late 2013 both brothers moved to Russia," the news agency said. According to the relatives, Abror got married three years ago, and his wife with a child returned to Kyrgyzstan last year as the small girl needed medical treatment over congenital injury.

The wife of the suspect has confirmed that her husband was in Turkey earlier, but "in transit from Seoul". Family friends said Azimov’s parents got divorced almost 20 years ago, after which his father left for Russia while the mother stayed in Kyrgyzstan. According to them, the two brothers worked at a sushi bar in Moscow’s suburbs, while their wives lived in Jalal-Abad with their mother-in-law.

Relatives also said that the elder brother, Akram Azimov, disappeared several days ago after security officers had taken him for questioning right from a clinic in Jalal-Abad. Akram arrived in Kyrgyzstan on March 27 for medical treatment and was operated at a private clinic. He has not returned either home or to the clinic. The news agency quotes the regional department of the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security as saying security officers let him go on the same day.

Svetlana Petrenko, a spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee, said earlier in the day that Azimov was detained in the Moscow region on Monday is a suspected accomplice of 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 is one of the masterminds behind the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. According to FSB, he trained the suicide bomber who set off an explosive device.

On April 3, an explosive device went off in a train car of the St. Petersburg subway system as the train was en-route between Tekhnologichesky Institut and Sennaya Ploshchad stations. The terror attack killed 14 passengers and the man who set off the explosive device, while over 50 more were injured. The Russian Investigative Committee disclosed the suicide bomber’s name. That was Akbarzhon Jalilov born in 1995, a native of Kyrgyzstan.