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04stpetersburg-superJumboAt 2:40 p.m. local time (7:40 a.m. ET) April 3rd, 2017, a bomb exploded on a subway train traveling between two stations in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to the country’s health minister. At least 11 people have been confirmed dead in the explosion and at least 45 other were hospitalized. The explosion took place in between the Sennaya Ploshad station and the Technological Institute station. The initial reports indicated that there were two different explosions, but investigators have confirmed that there was only one explosion.

Russia’s Investigative Committee called it an “undetermined explosive device.” The committee, which is the country’s primary federal investigative authority, has opened a criminal probe into what it has classified as a terrorist attack.

Another improvised explosive device (IED) was found rigged with shrapnel in a third St. Petersburg station, the Ploshchad Vosstaniya station. The bomb was defused by bomb technicians and no one was hurt, officials said. The suicide bomber theory has not been confirmed by investigators, according to state-run TASS news agency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the preliminary results of the investigation.

President Trump called the attack “a terrible thing.” According to a senior administration official, President Donald Trump spoke briefly with Putin on Monday, The President expressed his sympathies for the Russian people in the wake of the terror attack

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a statement condemning the attack in St. Petersburg, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured as we extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones.”

“Attacks like these on ordinary citizens going about their lives remind us that the world must work as one to combat violence in all forms,” Spicer said at a White House press briefing in Washington. “The United States is prepared to offer assistance to Russia as they may require to investigate this crime.”

Mark Toner, acting spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said in a statement, “The United States condemns today’s reprehensible attack on passengers of the St. Petersburg metro system. We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed, and our thoughts and prayers are with those injured in the attack and with the Russian people.”

Putin, who is in St. Petersburg for a forum, spoke in front of cameras after the explosion, alongside the president of Belarus, Aleksander Lukashenko.

“The causes are not yet clear, and so it’s still early to talk about that, the investigation will show,” Putin said. “But, naturally, we always examine all versions, ordinary and criminal above all, incidents of a terrorist character.”Immediately after the explosion the entire St. Petersburg subway system, which serves some 2 million riders a day, was shut down and evacuated. The subway system has since resumed operations.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that investigators believe that the suicide attack was carried out by a 23-year-old from Central Asia. The name of the suspected suicide bomber has not been released, but his is described as being a 22-year-old from Kazakhstan and CCTV images of the suspect have been released.

Police in Russia now believe a suicide bomber, who has close links to radical Islamists, was behind the attack.

Investigators are investigating other suspected terrorists in Russia in connection with the subway bombing.

Posted by SGT Hunter – Gruntworks Staff Writer on Apr 3rd 2017

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