(Updated) At least 16 people were killed on Dec. 29 and more than 40 more injured after a female suicide bomber detonated herself in a train station in the Russian city of Volgograd, raising fears of terrorist strikes as Russia prepares to the host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games scheduled to begin on Feb. 7.
A total of 33 people were hospitalized, with eight in serious condition and one in "extremely serious condition," Oleg Solagai, a spokesman for the Russian health ministry, told Russian news agency Rossiya24.
One police officer in Volgograd is among those that died in the blast, with 27 people listed as being in serious condition from the bombing. A nine-year-old girl is also among those injured, with the death toll expected to climb.
Regarding the female suicide bomber:
A severed head found at the site of the bombing is suspected to be that of the woman who carried out the attack, making it "possible to identify her," a Volgograd law enforcement source told the Russian news agency Interfax.
According to an update from RT, the female suicide bomber has been identified as Oksana Aslanova.
She is said to have been married twice to two militants. Both of her husbands have been reportedly eliminated, according to LifeNews, which didn't disclose its sources. Aslanova is also said to be a close friend of Naida Asiyalova, also known as ‘Amaturahman,’ who was behind the attack in Volgograd in October, when six were killed and 30 injured.
Yulia Chemova of Volunteers of Russia believes the bombing was timed to coincide with the New Year holiday:
"The timing for the terrorist attack in Volgograd is perfect," she said. "It's holiday season; airports and train stations are packed at this time of year."
Thus far, 32 terrorist attacks have been carried out on Russian soil in advance of the Winter Olympics.
Russia's interior ministry said it would deploy more police at all rail stations in Russia and that passengers would be subject to strict security measures.
Today’s suicide bombing and resulting blast was captured on the train station’s surveillance video system.
See the video accompanying this article to actually see the train station in Volgograd being rocked by the female suicide bomber's terrorist attack.
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