Moscow is in chaos this morning after two female suicide bombers set off explosions in the Moscow metro at rush hour. One blast went off at the Lubyanka station, which is right under the FSB headquarters. So far, 35 are dead, over 70 wounded with many of them in serious condition, so the death toll is likely to rise.
Medvedev’s response on Twitter: “We have to continue fighting the terrorists without politeness, liquidating them without emotion or wavering. The tragedy in the Moscow metro is a confirmation of this.”
Apparently, the other blast, which happened at Park Kultury, was supposed to have gone off at the station closest to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is responsible for the police, etc. But one of the bombers, new to Moscow and the metro got lost.
More soon. We’ve been expecting this, sadly.
UPDATE: The body bags have been coming up from the Lubyanka station, where 24 people were killed.
The bodies of the bombers have been found, including the head of one of them. Police are now searching for two Slavic women who apparently guided the two suicide bombers to the metro entrance in Moscow’s southwest.
Moscow taxi drivers hike fares by as much as 10x as people choose above-ground transport today.
UPDATE: Putin, in Krasnoyarsk on a working trip, has changed his plans and is on his way back to Moscow. Speaking from Krasnoyarsk, the prime minister said that he has faith that Russian security services will find and punish those responsible. “The terrorists will be annhilated,” he said.
The government intends to pay victims families about $10,000.
The affected subway stations to be opened at 4:00 pm. Clean-up has been remarkably orderly.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has declared tomorrow to be a day of mourning.
First moments after the blast.
UPDATE: Metro press service says the red line of the metro (where the attacks occurred) has partially reopened, up to the Park Kultury stop. No word yet on the rest.
UPDATE: One of the wounded has died in the hospital, bringing the death toll up to 38.
UPDATE: A rather gruesome video of the evacuation at Park Kultury.
UPDATE: Movement restored on red line; Lubyanka is finally opened, 10 hours after the blast. List of victims here.
UPDATE: Now comes the news that police had received many tips over the weekend — as well as a very specific one yesterday evening — leading to a heavy police presence in the metro, including on the affected metro line.
Interpol has just volunteered to help Russia in the investigation.
UPDATE: In response to finger-pointing at Chechnya — as well as some murky claims of responsibility for the region — Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov asks people to slow down a bit, says “terrorists don’t have a nationality.”
UPDATE: Was just down at Lubyanka and Park Kultury, where evidence of the blasts is still visible, though the metro is running again — mostly empty. People were clearly scared of lightning striking again that day, though it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. After all, 10 million daily passengers can’t just all get in cars in this town.
UPDATE: 72 people still in hospitals around Moscow. Commentator Yulia Latynina asks, on Ekho Moskvy, why Muscovites don’t care when there are blasts in other Russian cities.
Met three dark-complexioned young men today, who told me they were scared of what this would do to their situation in an already racially-charged city. A Muslim woman was attacked this afternoon on the subway, and pushed out of the subway car.
Over 300 people have called the psychology hotline set up by the Ministry of Emergency Situations.