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Russia

Home-made bomb explodes in Russian supermarket, injures 10

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 December, 2017, 5:24am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 December, 2017, 5:24am

At least 10 people were injured, one critically, when a home-made explosive device detonated in a supermarket in St Petersburg, authorities have confirmed.

The Investigative Committee, the nation’s top investigative agency, said a device containing shrapnel - identified in local news reports as ball bearings - and 200 grammes (7 ounces) of explosives went off at a storage area for customers’ bags.

Nine people were admitted to hospital after the attack, with one having suffered critical shrapnel wounds to their stomach, according to The Washington Post. As of Wednesday afternoon, no one had died.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which occurred at a branch of the Perekrestok supermarket chain in the city’s northwest Kalininsky district.

This is the second explosion to occur in Russia’s second-largest city this year after a deadly subway bombing in there in April. But police have declined to call the attack ‘terrorism’, instead classifying it as the attempted murder of two or more people.

Alexander Klaus, the chief of the local branch of the Investigative Committee, said 10 people were admitted to hospital with injuries. A criminal investigation has been launched.

Viktoria Gordeyeva, a St Petersburg resident who walked past the supermarket soon after the explosion, said people were afraid to enter other stores in the area.

“There was no panic, but people were reluctant to enter a nearby chemist and a grocery store,” Gordeyeva said.

Putin phones Trump with thanks for CIA tip that ‘prevented bombings by Islamic State’

Another local resident, Marina Bulanova, a doctor, heard the explosion and rushed to the market to help treat anyone who might be hurt. She said ambulance crews already had taken those injured to city hospitals by the time she got there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned US President Donald Trump earlier this month to thank him for a CIA tip that helped thwart a series of bombings in St Petersburg, Putin’s hometown.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said seven suspects linked to Islamic State were arrested in connection with the alleged plot. T

he Kremlin said the arrested suspects had planned to bomb St Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and other crowded sites.

While countries often share intelligence of such attacks, it is unusual for their heads of state to thank one another publicly.

St Petersburg subway bombing kills 11, injures dozens, as Putin visits his hometown

In April, a suicide bombing in St Petersburg’s subway left 16 people dead and wounded more than 50. Russian authorities identified the bomber who blew himself up on a subway line as Akbardzhon Dzhalilov, a 22-year old Kyrgyz-born Russian national.