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'I will kill you all': at least 35 die in Moscow airport bombing
A suicide bomber shouted ‘‘I will kill you all’’ before triggering the deadly blast that killed at least 35 people at Russia’s Domodedovo airport, according to media reports.

The bomber carrying a suitcase walked into Moscow’s busiest airport and set off a huge explosion today in the packed arrivals hall, in an attack slammed by the Kremlin and the world as an act of terror.

Two Britons and other foreigners are among the dead, according to media reports. It is believed a British Airways jet and a British Midland International plane had arrived at the airport just before the blast.

The Emergencies Ministry said 35 people were killed, 86 hospitalised with injuries and 94 were given medical treatment.

The Guardian reported that up to 168 people were injured, many of them critically

Witnesses said the bomber shouted: ‘‘I will kill you all’’, before triggering the blast that sent ball bearings and shrapnel across the airport, The Independent reported on its website on Tuesday.

America’s CBS News said a man in blood-soaked clothes said he was just a few metres away from the explosion and saw a man who may have been the suicide bomber.

‘‘I saw the suitcase, the suitcase was on fire,’’ Artyom Zhilenkov, a 35-year-old driver, told CBS.

‘‘So, either the man blew up something, or something went off on the man’s body, or the suitcase went off.’’

Mr Zhilenkov said he thought he had been severely injured, but doctors told him he was coated in other victims’ blood.

‘‘The guy standing next to me was torn to pieces,’’ he said.

CBS correspondent Mark Phillips also said the bomber shouted: ‘‘I will kill you all’’ just before he detonated his explosives

Relatives waiting 'killed instantly'

The Guardian reported that the bomber entered the ground floor of Domodedovo airport's terminal building apparently unchallenged.

He then made his way to the crowded international arrivals zone, the report said.

At 4.32pm local time he set off a massive explosive device, possibly hidden in a suitcase, causing a blast equivalent to 7 kilograms of TNT.

Airport spokeswoman Elena Galanova said the blast had gone off in a freely accessible public area of the airport where passengers meet relatives after passing customs.

Relatives waiting to meet family members and arriving passengers were killed instantly, The Guardian reported.

Gillard condemns attack

The Australian embassy in Moscow is urgently seeking to confirm with local authorities if Australians have been caught up in the blast at Domodedovo International Airport.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard condemned the ‘‘brutal’’ terrorist attack.

‘‘This brutal attack appears to have killed many and injured more, and the thoughts of Australians are with the families of all those who have suffered as a result of this act,’’ Ms Gillard said in a statement.

She offered Australia’s condolences to Russia and other nations affected by the ‘‘appalling and indiscriminate act of violence’’.

US President Barack Obama described the attack as outrageous and German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying she was dismayed by the cowardly act.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev chaired an emergency meeting of top officials and ordered a special security regime across the country's main airports and railway stations.

'Huge bang'

Russian investigators found a head of "Arab appearance" that is presumed to have belonged to the suicide bomber, Interfax said.

According to preliminary information, the bomber was a resident of the overwhelmingly Muslim Northern Caucasus region, Interfax said.

"A blast went off at Domodedovo that, according to preliminary information, was an act of terror," Mr Medvedev said in televised remarks.

"It is necessary to introduce a special regime in all airports and transportation hubs."

Mr Medvedev said the attack showed Russia's security regulations were not being followed properly. "What happened indicates that far from all the laws that need to be working are being used correctly," said Mr Medvedev.

Terrorism warnings

Russian security services had received warnings that an act of terrorism would be carried out at one of the Moscow airports and three suspects had been identified, the RIA Novosti news agency said.

The website said many victims had metal fragments embedded in their bodies and the explosive device was packed with bolts, nuts, nails and ball bearings.

"Burnt people are running about ... they are carrying pieces of flesh on stretchers," one eyewitness, named as Andrei, told Russian City FM radio.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been informed, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax.

The blast also represented a major setback for Russia's international image and confidence in its security as it gears up to hold two major sporting events, the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the 2018 football World Cup.

Mr Medvedev has postponed his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, planned for this week, Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.

Moscow police stepped up security across the city after the blast, Interfax quoted law enforcement officials as saying.

Domodedovo Airport is Russia's largest airport in terms of passenger numbers and takes flights from top international companies including British Airways, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines.

The Russian capital has been repeatedly rocked by attacks over the past few years blamed on militants from the Northern Caucasus region, where Russia has for years been battling an Islamist insurgency.

Double bombings carried out by two female suicide bombers on the Moscow metro on March 29, 2010, killed 40 and wounded more than 100.

The Kremlin fought two wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s but the insurgency has now become more Islamist in tone and has spread to neighbouring Ingushetia and Dagestan.

However, officials have repeatedly warned of the risk of attacks in Russia's heartland.

They should just let other Muslim "republics" secede.

It's useless keeping a small region in expense of bad publicity.

Even if they give up Chechnya or the Caucasus, Russia will remain very large so that the (small) loss won't be even noticeable. embarassedlaugh.gif
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