Muslim leader Doku Umarov has “instructed his followers ‘to use maximum force on the path of Allah to disrupt this Satanic dancing'” — that is, the Sochi Olympics.
“Two blasts in two days in Russia’s Volgograd emperil Sochi Olympics,” by Supriya Jha for Zee News, December 30 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Moscow: A day after the horrific attack at a railway station in Russia’s Volgograd, another blast was reported to have taken place on a trolleybus in the city on Monday, killing 10 people.
Like yesterday’s blast, this blast too, is thought to be a terrorist attack, reported a Russian news agency.
The blast on a trolley bus in Volgograd comes just a day after a suicide attack at a railway station in the same city had killed 16 and injured many others.
The attacks have fuelled fresh concerns about safety of Winter Olympics at Sochi with the spectre of terrorism looming large.
The attacks that come just weeks before the crucial Winter Olympics at Sochi, which is scheduled in February, have posed a serious question mark on the security risks near the Games venue that is situated near the the volatile North Caucasus region.
Although, Russia has already put in place a formidable security system in wake of the Games, President Vladimir Putin has ordered the security to be beefed up at all the railway stations and airports across the country after yesterday’s attack.
The attack at the railway station, that is said to have been carried out by a female suicide bomber — called as Black Widows in Russia — was captured on a CCTV camera and took place at the main entrance of the station near the metal detectors.
The bombing is being treated as an act of terrorism,Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee said.
“Most likely, the victims could have been much higher if the so-called protective system had not stopped the suicide bomber from getting through the metal detectors into the waiting room where there were passengers,” Mr Markin said in a statement posted on Investigative Committee’s website.
A severed head of a female, thought to be the perpetrator of the suicide attack, will help in identifying the bomber, reports said.
Before Volgograd attack, another suicide bombing in the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk last week had killed three people.
Also in October, Volgograd had witnessed a bus suicide attack which had killed six people.
Even that attack was carried by a ‘Black Widow’, a female bomber who wanted to avenge the death of her husband.
The attacks are seen as the manifestation of the threat delivered by a Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, who in July this year had condemned Russia for hosting Sochi Games, which he called as a “Satanic Dance”.
He had vowed to stop the Games from proceeding in Sochi, pledging attacks against civilian targets.
He instructed his followers “to use maximum force on the path of Allah to disrupt this Satanic dancing.”
“They plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims, buried on the territory of our land on the Black Sea,” Umarov had said in a video.
Sochi Olympics is Putin’s ambitious project and he has gone out of his way to mute the chorus of international criticism against Russia’s dismal rights record by releasing his major opponents like oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Pussy Riot band girls and Greepeace activists.
However, it seems that the threat of Islamic terror attacks outweighs the cacophony of international criticism and poses a graver risk to the Games.