Wanted Russian carried out suicide strike: official

15th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Russian woman wanted by police for planning a major attack in Moscow blew herself up in a deadly suicide bombing in the Northern Caucasus, officials said on Tuesday.

Three people and 27 others were wounded in a double suicide bombing outside police posts late Monday in the mountain village of Gubden in the violence-torn region of Dagestan.

Investigators on Tuesday identified the first bomber as Marina Khorosheva, a woman who has been repeatedly linked to a failed plan for a major suicide attack by Islamist militants in Moscow on December 31.

"According to preliminary information, a study of the body fragments showed that one of the terrorist-bomber was visually identified as Marina Khorosheva," the investigative committee said in a statement.

The December 31 plot failed when the suicide bomber accidentally set off her charge inside her guest house in Moscow. But it was then followed by the January 24 suicide bombing at Domodedovo airport that killed 36 people.

Khorosheva and her husband Vitaly Razdobudko, who is also wanted by police, had aroused intense interest in the press as they are ethnic Russian Orthodox Christians who converted to Islam and became part of the militant underworld.

Razdobudko had been dubbed in the press as the "Russian Wahhabi", in reference to his embrace of extreme Sunni Islam.

News agencies said that initial evidence also suggested that Razdobudko could have been the driver involved in the second bombing in Gubden.

Police said Khorosheva, wearing a suicide belt, walked up to an interior ministry post in Gubden and blew herself up. Two hours later, a car -- driven by another suicide bomber -- exploded after driving up to a police checkpoint.

The Kremlin fought two wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya, which neighbours Dagestan, in the past 15 years.

But the insurgency has since become more Islamist in tone and much of the violence has spread to neighbouring regions where insurgents are fighting a daily battle against pro-Kremlin local authorities.

© 2011 AFP

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