Six held in St Petersburg over 'IS recruitment'

11 April, 2017, 00:03 | Author: Essie Rivera

There is no evidence they are connected with Akbarzhon Jalilov, a Kyrgyzstan-born man suspected of bombing St Petersburg's metro.

Djalilov's "genetic trace" was also found on a bag containing a second bomb left at another metro station and later defused, the statement said.

Links between those arrested and the bomber are still being investigated, the agency said, but added that "clues" had been found at the suspected accomplices' addresses.

The six come from former Soviet Central Asian republics. "The recent tragic events in St. Petersburg are the best confirmation of this", Putin said at the meeting in Moscow.

"We are all citizens of one country despite various political views and religious beliefs", said 24-year-old Alexander Malikov, who brought flowers and candles to an improvised memorial outside one of the stations. A bomb blast tore through a subway train under Russia's seco.

The explosion happened between Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut stations.

The statement said the authorities had not yet decided whether to press charges against the detainees.

While most Central Asian migrants in Russia hold temporary work permits or work illegally, thousands of them have received Russian citizenship in the past decades.

Commuters on the busy Saint Petersburg metro remained on edge after the system temporarily shut down Monday in the wake of the attack.

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The bomb went off Monday afternoon as the train was moving between two stations.

President Donald Trump called President Vladimir Putin late Monday to express his condolences, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said, but the conversation was limited to expressions of support.

"I traveled on the same route this morning just to see how it felt and think about life".

Petrov was also a hand-to-hand champion of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, an Army hand-to-hand combat champion of Russian Federation, and had a brown belt in Kyokushin karate.

One of those stations was closed by a bomb threat Tuesday and again on Wednesday as officials checked for anything suspicious.

Patriach Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, led a service at Moscow's main cathedral on Tuesday for the bombing victims.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Russian trains and planes have often been targeted by Islamist militants.

According to the Investigative Committee of Russian Federation on Wednesday, the suspects were accused of recruiting people for terror groups such as the Islamist former al-Qaida branch Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and the IS, Efe news reported.

Separately, in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan, two policemen were killed in the early hours on Tuesday in a suspected Islamic militant attack.

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