The Russian blast of a bus in Volgograd on Monday came just one day after a suicide bomber killed 17 people and wounded at least 60 others at a railway station in Volgograd on Sunday. Volgograd is 550 miles south of Moscow and about 400 miles northeast of Sochi, where the Olympic Winter Games are scheduled to be held in February. The two explosions are putting “the city on edge,” reported USA Today on Dec. 29, 2013.
Sunday’s Russian blast at Volgograd’s railway station comes just months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov called for new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Sochi Games.
According to Russian officials, a suicide bomber detonated the explosives in front of a metal detector at the railway station entrance at 12:45 Moscow Time on Sunday as passengers made their way to and from trains. Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, said that “a suicide bomber who was approaching a metal detector saw a law enforcement official and, after growing nervous, set off an explosive device.”
Even though the observant law enforcement official was able to spot the suicide bomber and rushed towards the terrorist just seconds before the explosion, he was unable to prevent the devastating tragedy that took his own life and that of at least 17 others.
TV footage taken of Sunday’s Russian blast showed a massive orange fireball filling the hall and corridors of the railway station as smoke and dust billows out through shattered windows.
Reports that the “black widow,” 26-year-old Oksana Aslanova (who outlived several of her terrorist husbands), was Sunday’s suicide bomber conflicts with the report that “a torn male finger ringed by a safety pin removed from a hand grenade was found on the site of the explosion.”
Monday’s Russian blast of a trolley bus in Volgograd killed at least 10 passengers and injured at least 23 others. “In a conflicting report, Volgograd region Vice-Governor Vasily Galushkin said that 15 people had been killed. The explosion was set off by a suicide bomber, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, confirmed,” according to a Dec. 30, RT report.
The trolley bus was near one of the city markets when the explosion happened and the blast was powerful enough to shatter windows in adjacent buildings and reduce nearby vehicles to its metal carcass.
The panic of Sunday’s and Monday’s Russian blasts is visible in the streets of Volgograd. “It’s scary. Everybody left buses and trams and are walking. People won’t use public transport,” said a local resident.
“Less than an hour after the news of the blast broke, Russian twitter post started spreading reports of a new explosion at a tram station. The rumor was not confirmed. Journalists called on social media to stop spreading panic.”