Two Afternoon Explosions Rock St. Petersburg, Russia During Putin Visit

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Today, St. Petersburg, Russia is under alert. Much like the Boston Marathon bombing on Patriots Day, St. Petersburg suffered two explosions of shrapnel-filled improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Early reports have at least ten fatalities and dozens more injured. Both explosions were inside cars of the underground trains in one of the major train stations. The explosions took place close to 2:30 pm St. Petersberg time at the Sennaya Station. All train stations in St. Petersberg are closed, and first responders are still in the process of evacuating the stations. The St. Petersburg prosecutor’s office has already launched an investigation into the cause.

President Putin was in St. Petersberg at the time, meeting with the president of Belarus to discuss relations and issues between the two nations. President Putin was informed of the explosions while at the meeting and expressed his condolences to the families of the dead and injured and stated that “all reasons for the explosions were under investigation, including terrorism.”

The Russian antiterrorism committee said they are taking action to increase security measures at all transportation stations as well as airports. It is unclear who or what group is responsible for the attack in St. Petersberg. No group has claimed responsibility.

Besides the internal issues Russia has with groups in Chechnya – over the years the majority of attacks in Russia have been connected to the Chechen Separatist movement – another concern is the Russian involvement in Syria; fighting against ISIS has also raised the possibility of an ISIS-inspired attack.

The US embassy as well as the heads of all 28 EU states have expressed their condolences to the families and victims of the explosions.

Jon Harris is an OpsLens contributor and former Army NCO, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice.

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