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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blast Kills At Least 3 On Train To St. Pete

COMBINED REPORTS


An explosion Friday on a Russian passenger train bound for St. Petersburg killed at least three people and injured seven, officials said.


The explosion occurred in a lavatory on the No. 24 train traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg, the country's second-largest city, said Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Mikhail Baryshnikov.


An explosive device, which Baryshnikov said was of an unknown type, went off at 6:30 p.m. as the train was near the village of Torbino, 230 kilometers southeast of St. Petersburg.


Interfax later said one of those killed apparently brought the bomb onto the train. It said the dead included two men and a 13-year-old boy.


The damaged car was uncoupled from the train, which continued on to St. Petersburg, Baryshnikov said.


NTV said the blast occurred in car No. 10. It said the injured were taken to St. Petersburg aboard the train.


The identities of the dead and injured were not released, and it was not immediately known whether any foreigners were among them. Ekho Moskvy radio quoted the Emergency Situations Ministry as saying the death toll could rise.


The route between Moscow and St. Petersburg is one of Russia's busiest.


Officials said they had no indication yet as to who might have planted the bomb. Bomb blasts are a fairly common occurrence in Russia, where explosives are often used in contract killings.


A number of Russian trains and railway stations have been bombed since last summer in attacks that have killed at least five people -- not counting Friday's explosion -- and injured dozens.


Some of the attacks have been claimed by Salman Raduyev, a warlord from breakaway Chechnya who has threatened to carry out such bombings throughout Russia.


Since signing a peace treaty with Moscow earlier in the year, authorities in Chechnya have put pressure on Raduyev to halt any attacks or threats and to disband his renegade guerrilla unit. ()