Medvedev visits metro station after Moscow blast

27th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday paid a surprise visit to a Moscow subway station, inspecting screening equipment amid Russian government efforts to step up security after a deadly airport bombing.

Television footage showed Medvedev strolling around the Okhotny Ryad metro station that sits just opposite the Kremlin as busy commuters rushed by.

He was accompanied by the mayor of Moscow as well the country's emergencies minister and the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) -- the KGB successor that has so far avoided all criticism for Monday's incident.

Medvedev inspected metal detectors and other screening and emergency communication devices.

"We need to acquire things like this," Medvedev said while inspecting one piece of equipment.

The Domodedovo airport blast killed 35 people and prompted Medvedev to fire several officials in charge of transport security.

Medvedev on Tuesday gave officials two weeks to come up with proposals to prevent suicide attacks. He also indicated that Russia should introduce total security checks on public transport.

However NTV television noted in its report that Moscow's current metal detectors allow only a few hundred people to pass them per hour while more than a million travellers use the subway system every day.

Unofficial reports have linked the bombing to militants from the mainly Muslim Northern Caucasus and media have published a photograph said to be of one of the main suspects.

© 2011 AFP

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