Medvedev calls for total security checks after attack

26th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday gave officials two weeks to come up with proposals to prevent suicide attacks, indicating Russia should introduce total security checks on public transport.

Speaking in the aftermath of Moscow's suicide bombing that killed 35 and injured dozens at the country's busiest airport Monday afternoon, the Kremlin chief also announced he had fired a senior transport official. And he threatened more dismissals in the future.

"There should be control on a day-to-day basis," Medvedev told a meeting devoted to transport security issues at his Gorki residence outside Moscow.

"Unfortunately it should be intrusive, otherwise we simply will not achieve the goals we are setting for ourselves," he added.

"Each of us knows how interaction with police and transport services happen at some foreign airports and railway stations.

"Sometimes we, as free-thinking people, get irritated and angry by this: they force us to turn our suitcases upside-down, force us to undress. But that's the only way to achieve a result.

"We'll have to change rules," he said, giving officials two weeks to come up with new proposals to tighten security.

The plan, he said, should include a terror alert system to be introduced on public transport including airports, metro and railroads.

Monday's bombing of Russia's busiest airport Domodedovo killed 35 people and injured dozens more.

Medvedev immediately lashed out at "anarchic" security lapses and on Wednesday he renewed his criticisim of the country's transport police.

"Police at major transport hubs, airports and railroad stations have assumed an absolutely passive position," he said.

Police often preferred to zero in on migrants in the hope of pocketing a bribe than prevent security violations, he added.

Medvedev also said he had dismissed the head of the interior ministry's transport administration for the Central Federal District, Andrei Alexeyev.

And Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said three more ministry officials who worked at Domodedovo had also been fired.

"Those who did not work properly must be punished," Medvedev said. "All the officials responsible for organising the (security) process must be brought to their senses."

Monday's blast was Moscow's second attack in less than a year.

Last March, double bombings carried out by two female suicide bombers on the Moscow metro killed 40 and wounded more than 100, marking the deadliest violence in the Russian capital since 2004.

© 2011 AFP

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