An explosion on a trolley bus during today’s morning commute in the industrial city of Volgograd killed at least 15 people and injuring 23, Pravda reported. The blast comes less than 24 hours after a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in Volograd’s train station, killing 18 people and injuring nearly 70, and has raised new questions about the security of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which start on February 7.
Citing unnamed officials, Pravda said the trolley bus “was literally blown to pieces,” with just the front part remaining whole. “The roof became like a dome from the blast wave,” an official said. The trolley was traveling along a busy street past a market and department story when it exploded, the news agency said.
On Sunday afternoon, a suicide bomber that Russian officials identified as Oksana Aslanova, a woman from Dagestan, Russia, exploded a bomb near the metal detectors at the Volgograd train station, killing 18. Aslanova is a friend of Naida Asiyalova, a female suicide bomber responsible for an October explosion in Volgograd that killed 6, officials told Pravda.
No group has taken responsibility for the attacks, but they are widely-believed to be linked to the Chechen separatist movement. In a recently-circulated, unverified video, a man believed to be Chechen Islamist militant leader Doku Umarov, calls the Winter Olympics “satanic dances” that are being held “on the bones of our ancestors” calls on Mujahideen to prevent them from happening “by any means possible.”
Gang Yang contributed reporting.