Second blast in Russia's Volgograd kills 14 on trolleybus

Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:31am EST
 

By Maria Tsvetkova

VOLGOGRAD, Russia (Reuters) - A bomb blast ripped a trolleybus apart in Volgograd on Monday, killing 14 people in the second deadly attack in the southern city in two days and raising fears of further violence as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympics.

The morning rush-hour bombing, which left mangled bodies in the street, underscored Russia's vulnerability to militant attacks less than six weeks before the Sochi 2014 Games, a prestige project for President Vladimir Putin.

Sunday's blast came less than 24 hours after a suicide bomb blast killed at least 17 people in the main railway station in the same city, a major transport hub in southern Russia.

A Reuters journalist saw the blue-and-white trolleybus reduced to a twisted, gutted carcass, its roof blown off and bodies and debris strewn across the street. Federal investigators called the blast a "terrorist act".

"For the second day, we are dying. It's a nightmare," a woman near the scene said, her voice trembling as she choked back tears. "What are we supposed to do, just walk now?"

The consecutive attacks will raise fears of a concerted campaign of violence before the Olympics, which start on February 7 in Sochi, about 430 miles southwest of Volgograd.

In a video posted on the web in July, the leader of insurgents who want to carve an Islamic state out of the North Caucasus, a string of Muslim provinces south of Volgograd, urged militants to use "maximum force" to prevent the games from being held.

"Terrorists in Volgograd aim to terrorize others around the world, making them stay away from the Sochi Olympics," said Dmitry Trenin, an analyst with the Moscow Carnegie Centre.   Continued...

 
Interior Ministry members stand guard in front of the train station where a bomber detonated explosives in Volgograd December 29, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpov