Russia arrests 'airport bomber's siblings'

9th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia has arrested the brother and sister of the suspected suicide bomber who killed 36 people at a Moscow airport last month for allegedly helping him carry out the attack, reports said Wednesday.

The brother and sister of suspected suicide bomber Magomed Yevloyev, 20, a native of the North Caucasus region of Ingushetia that neighbours war-torn Chechnya, have been arrested as suspected accomplices, security officials said.

The Ingush authorities arrested Yevloyev's 16-year-old brother Akhmed and 22-year-old sister Fatima, the Interfax news agency reported.

ITAR-TASS said the police had also detained a third alleged accomplice, identified as Umar Aushev, 23.

An Ingush court has ordered the siblings held for two months while probes into their alleged involvement in the attack on Russia's busiest airport continue, news reports said.

The January 24 strike on Domodedovo airport has been claimed by the Islamist Doku Umarov, who has taken credit for organising several deadly bombings since proclaiming himself head of the "Caucasus Emirate" movement in 2006.

The Russian government has not officially identified Magomed Yevloyev as the suicide bomber, with his name leaked to Russian news agencies by police sources and then reported by state-controlled television.

Yeloyev reportedly lived in the village of Ali-Yurt, which he left several months before the attack.

His father told state television last week that Yelvoyev had told his family he was going to look for a seasonal job and then disappeared without a trace.

Yevloyev's name was also reportedly mentioned during a closed-door briefing that security officials gave Tuesday to members of Russia's State Duma lower house of parliament.

But one senior lawmaker who attended the Federal Security Service (FSB) briefing said that the Islamist leader Umarov's was not mentioned during the meeting at all, Interfax reported.

"I personally do not believe that Doku Umarov was involved," the Duma's deputy chief of security committee Gennady Gudkov added.

Russian officials have refused to comment on Umarov's claims of responsibility, which were also not reported by the country's national television stations.

Umarov's video address appeared an a rebel website banned in Russia.

© 2011 AFP

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