Russia’s President, Dmitry Medvedev says airport management must bear responsibility for failing to prevent a suicide bomb at Russia’s busiest airport yesterday, which killed 35 people.
President Medvedev called the bombing at Moscow Domodedovo airport a “well-prepared terrorist attack” and ordered security to be stepped up at the gateway.
Medvedev said: “What happened demonstrates that there were clear security breaches. Someone had to try very hard to carry or bring through such a vast amount of explosives.”
“We will have to put in place a much tougher inspection system, total inspections. It will likely take passengers longer, but it’s the only way out,” he said. “The information available to us [from Domodedovo] suggests that it was simply a state of anarchy. People were able to enter [the airport] from any place. Control over people’s movements was partial and did not apply to those waiting for passengers.”
Rebutting media questions over whether the airport did enough to prevent the blast, Domodedovo Airport’s press secretary, Elena Galanina said: “We do not bear responsibility for the incident because we have fulfilled all of the demands of aviation security that we are responsible for.”
The bomb, packed with nuts, bolts and ball bearings detonated beside Moscow Domodedovo airport’s international arrivals hall, where many of those killed and injured were either returning home from a holiday, arriving in Moscow on business or gathered in the terminal waiting to greet loved ones.
Up to 170 people have been wounded – many seriously and there are fears the number of deaths could rise.
Russian authorities have said eight foreigners were killed, including two Britons but the UK Foreign Office is only able to confirm one.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but many in Russia believe it bears the hallmarks of militants from the North Caucasus, who have been responsible for past attacks in Moscow.
Amateur footage taken by an eyewitness on a mobile phone shortly after the blast shows thick smoke and small fires blazing in the terminal and scattered bodies.
The airport is today operating normally and the explosion site has been sealed off while an investigation is carried out.
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