Chechen Islamist rebel leader claims responsibility for Moscow airport bombing

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MOSCOW: Chechen Islamist rebel leader Dokka Umarov on Tuesday claimed responsibility for ordering a suicide bombing that killed 36 people and injured hundreds more at Moscow's busiest airport in January.

The pro-Chechen Kavkaz Center published the statement released by Umarov in which he said he had ordered to attack in Moscow in pursuit of an independent Muslim state in Russia's Caucasus region. He pledged to continue similar operations in the future.

According to the Kavkaz Center, Umarov said that the Muslims of the Caucasus are "at war with the Russian occupation army in the name of Allah to defend Islam and the people's right to dignity, to liberate the land of Caucasus Muslims, and to establish law and justice."

The authenticity of the video statement, which is in Russian and shows Umarov in combat clothing, could not immediately be verified but the Kavkaz Center has previously released similar statements which were authentic. It said Umarov's video appeared to have been filmed on January 24, the day of the attack in Moscow.

The suicide bombing at Domodedovo International Airport happened in the international arrivals hall at 4.32 p.m. local time in a general area where persons who are not passengers have free access. A total of 36 people were killed while 201 others were injured.

Previously, Russian investigators said that the attack was carried out by a resident of Russia's North Caucasus region and was aimed primarily at foreigners. "It was no [coincidence] that the terrorist attack took place in the international arrivals zone," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said. "Investigators believe that it was directed against, in the first place, foreign nationals," he added.

The attack happened less than a year after two female suicide bombers from the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan attacked the Moscow metro, killing 39 people.

(BNO NEWS )

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