Russian Metro Attack Toll Rises to 14

A man at the entrance to the metro station in St. PetersburgA man at the entrance to the metro station in St. Petersburg

Fourteen people were killed and dozens more injured as an explosion rocked the Saint Petersburg metro on Monday, in what Russian authorities described as an act of terror.

Authorities shut down the metro system in Russia’s second city for several hours as security services said they had also defused a bomb at a second metro station, AFP reported.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said it was probing an “act of terror” but added it would look into all other possible causes of the blast.

There was no immediate claim for the explosion, which comes after the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group called for attacks on Russia in retribution for its military intervention in Syria fighting against the terrorists.

Anti-terror authorities said in a statement to Russian news agencies that the toll had risen to 14 dead and 45 injured.

The Moscow metro tweeted that it was “taking additional security measures” as required by law in such situations, while the anti-terrorist committee, NAK, said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that security was being stepped up at transportation hubs and crowded spots across the country.

President Vladimir Putin, who had been in Saint Petersburg holding a meeting at his Strelna presidential palace, offered “condolences” to the wounded and to the loved ones of those killed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the explosion as a “barbaric act,” while US President Donald Trump spoke with his Russian counterpart.

EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, wrote on Twitter that she was following developments “together with all EU foreign ministers” gathered for a meeting in Luxembourg.

“Our thoughts are with all the people of Russia,” she wrote.

Russia has not been hit by an apparent attack this deadly since the bombing of a plane carrying holidaymakers back to Saint Petersburg from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in October 2015, which was claimed by IS. All 224 people onboard were killed.

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