MOSCOW, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Moscow saw its second suicide attack within less than 12 months, as about 30 people were killed and some 170 injured in an explosion at the Domodedovo airport on Monday, according to the latest figures released by Russian authorities.
Int'l community condemns blast at Moscow airportTerrorism nightmare shocks Moscow airportMoscow on alert after its second terrorist attack within a yearMajor terrorist attacks on Russia's transportation infrastructureU.S. state secretary condemns bombing at Moscow airportBarroso "strongly" condemns terrorist attack at Russian airportThe blast, most likely conducted by a suicide terrorist, had an equivalent of 5-10 kg of TNT, local media reported.
A few hours after the blast, while situation in the airport remained calm, the security of the city has been tightened up.
DETAILS OF ATTACK VARY
The number of casualties varied considerably so far. According to the spokesperson of the airport, the death toll has hit 35 and nearly 170 were injured, while the governor of Moscow region, Boris Gromov, said the bombing has claimed 34 lives and left 66 people injured.
The Russian Health Minister Tatyana Golikova said the confirmed death toll was 29.
Initial reports said that the explosion happened at Domodedovo Airport's luggage reclaim zone at the international arrivals terminal. But a spokesperson for the Federal Customs Services later said that the blast happened in the lounge area near the Asia cafe next to an international departure area.
Some eyewitnesses said two terrorists blew themselves up when people emerged from the international arrivals zone soon after two planes have arrived there from London, local media reported.
Russian Investigative Committee spokesman told the media that the bombing "was most likely carried out by a suicide terrorist."
Investigators on the site of bombing found the severed head of an "Arab-looking" man suspected of perpetrating the attack, a law enforcement officer told Interfax news agency.
"He was aged between 30 to 35," the source said, adding that traces of shrapnel have been found on the lounge walls.
A law enforcement source said three men have been wanted in connection with the explosion.
"According to intelligence, three men may have been involved in masterminding the explosion. They have been living in the vicinity of the capital for some time," the source was quoted by Interfax as saying.
Videotapes published on personal blogs by several eyewitnesses show heavy smoke, and bodies scattered across the lounge floor the bomb ripped through and emergency workers covering the deads.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who called this blast a terrorist attack, held an urgent meeting and ordered measures to ensure security at all Russian airports and transport facilities.
Medvedev has postponed his Tuesday trip to the annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland's Davos after the deadly blast.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered Health Minister Tatyana Golikova to prepare documents for providing help to the victim families.
Moscow city and Moscow region's authorities will pay up to two million rubles (about 67,000 U.S. dollars) to the relatives of the victims, Moscow region governor Boris Gromov said.
Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin also promised the city would pay for the funerals of those who died in Domodedovo. Sobyanin visited one of the hospitals to check the conditions of the wounded patients there.
Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has taken charge of the investigation into the explosion. He ordered to check all the country's transportation facilities for their correspondence to the security requirements, RBC news agency reported.
SECURITY TIGHTENED THROUGHOUT RUSSIA
After the blast, Moscow's Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports have been accepting planes that were re-routed from Domodedovo. Their passengers are given a free railway transfer between the three airports, RBC news agency reported.
Moscow police has tightened the security in these airports and metro system, and Moscow regional governor Boris Gromov ordered to tighten security in the suburban trains.
Authorities of many Russia's regions also beefed up security after Medvedev has ordered to increase security in all Russia's transportation facilities. In Krasnodar region in Southern Russia, and Novosibirsk region in Southern Siberia, police patrol major airports and railway stations.
All the country's airports introduced a mandatory search of all arriving and departing passengers after the blast, Russia's transportation watchdog Rostransnadzor said.
This was the second deadly bombing after the twin blasts in Moscow metro on March 29, 2010, when 40 people were killed and over 90 injured.
FOREIGN LEADERS OFFER SUPPORT
Many world leaders condemned the terrorists attack against the airport Monday.
Among passengers killed or injured in the airport were British, French and Italian nationals, the Russian Health Ministry said.
U.S. president Barack Obama "decisively condemned" the attack in Domodedovo, Interfax reported.
Head of European Council Herman van Rompei and other top EU officials called for punishing those responsible for it.
British Foreign Office recommended British citizens avoid traveling to Domodedovo, BBC World Service reported.
Italy's Foreign Minister Franko Frattini said that "barbarous attack has no justification" and Italy was ready to support Russia in fighting terrorism.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called what happened in Domodedovo a "disgusting attack" and expressed France's solidarity with Russia.
Leaders of Latvia, Germany and Poland also joined the chorus in condemning the terrorists.
Domodedovo is Moscow's most modern and busiest air hub. In 2004, two planes which took off from the airport were blown up by female Chechen suicide bombers, killing a total of 90 people on board.