Firefighters carry a body out of the Lubyanka metro station. A second blast struck the Park Kultury metro station roughly 40 minutes later, killing at least 14 people.
Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Moscow subway during rush hour on Monday morning, killing 37 people and injuring dozens more. There have been no claims of responsibility, but speculation is centering on Islamist insurgents from the Northern Caucasus.
Moscow has once again become the target of a terrorist attack. Two female suicide bombers detonated themselves in packed subway cars at the height of Moscow rush hour on Monday morning. Officials say that at least 35 people were killed in the bombings, which took place within an hour of each other. More than 30 people were injured.
The first bomb exploded at 7:50 a.m. (3:50 a.m. GMT) in the second car of a subway train waiting at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is located beneath the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia's primary domestic security agency. Emergency Ministry spokeswoman Svetlana Chumikova said that 23 people died in the first blast.
A second explosion hit a train in the Park Kultury station, some eight kilometers away from Lubyanka, about 45 minutes after the first. At least 12 people were thought to have died in that bombing, said Chumikova. Reuters is reporting that 14 people may have died in the second blast.
Police officers evacuate commuters from the Park Kultury metro station.
"The first data that the FSB has given us is that there were two female suicide bombers," Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told reporters at a hastily assembled press conference outside the entrance to the Park Kultury subway station. Officials reported finding the remains of suicide belts at the sites of the explosions.
Speculation of Islamist Insurgent Involvement
It was unclear on Monday morning who may have been responsible for the attack, though initial speculation centered on Islamist insurgents from the Northern Caucasus region in Russia's south. Moscow is fighting a growing insurgency in the region. Authorities immediately opened a terror investigation on Monday to look into the blasts. In addition, the country's civil aviation authority ordered that security be increased at all Moscow airports.
A helicopter lands at the Lubyanka metro station: "Two female terrorist bombers carried out these bombings," Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told reporters.
Moscow's subway system is one of the world's busiest, with some 7 million people riding its trains each day. With trains halted on Monday morning and emergency vehicles clogging the streets, the city came to a virtual standstill.
"I bought myself a ticket, and then I heard a muffled bang," one witness reported on Russian radio. "I didn't think anything of it. But then people began rushing toward me. They were screaming and there was white dust everywhere. Their clothes were all ripped up."
It was the bloodiest terror attack in Moscow since 2004, when a subway bombing killed 39 and wounded 100. Last November, an attack on a high-speed train between Moscow and St. Petersburg killed 26 people. An Islamist rebel group claimed responsibility for that attack.