Iran, US, UN decry deadly St. Petersburg attack


Russian President Vladimir Putin places flowers in memory of victims of the blast in the Saint Petersburg metro at Technological Institute station on April 3, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

Iran has offered its condolences to the families of the victims of a deadly blast in a metro station in Russia’s Saint Petersburg, stressing that killing innocent people is not a way to reach political goals.

“Causing insecurity and killing innocent people is the most humiliating path to reaching political goals,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Monday.

Earlier in the day, at least 11 people were killed and dozens more were wounded as an explosion ripped through a subway train traveling between St. Petersburg’s Sennaya Ploshad and Technological Institute stations. The Kremlin has stated that the incident has “all the hallmarks of an attack.”

Following the blast, the city’s metro system was closed down as police found and defused another explosive device in another station.

A riot police officer guards the area next to the entrance to Sennaya Square metro station in Saint Petersburg on April 3, 2017, following a deadly bomb attack.

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Russia’s Investigative Committee has announced that it is dealing with the incident as an “act of terror” but has said that it is not ruling out other possible causes of the explosion.

Condemning the attack, Qassemi reiterated Iran’s calls for to form a serious international coalition for battling terrorism.

“We believe that the only way to stop these terrible atrocities is to cut them off by the roots; the only way to do this is through serious will of all international governments and organizations,” he added.

United Nations slams deadly Russia blast

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has condemned the attacks, stressing that those behind it must be held accountable.

“The secretary general condemns today’s bombing in the St. Petersburg metro,” said the UN chief’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“He extends his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and the people of the Russian Federation…Those responsible for this appalling act must be held accountable,” he added. The UN Security Council also slammed the bombing as a “barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack.”  

Trump calls blast as ‘terrible thing’

US President Donald Trump also slammed the attack while attending an event at the White House. “Happening all over the world, absolutely a terrible thing,” he said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer also slammed the attack, while offering condolences to the families of its victims.   

“Attacks like these on ordinary citizens going about their lives remind us that the world must work as one to combat violence in all forms,” said Spicer. “The United States is prepared to offer assistance to Russia and may require investigating this crime,” he added.

Acting US State Department spokesperson, Mark Toner, also condemned the “reprehensible attack on passengers of the St. Petersburg metro system.”

“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed, and our thoughts and prayers are with those injured in the attack and with the Russian people,” he said.

People react outside Technological Institute metro station in Saint Petersburg on April 3, 2017, following a deadly bomb attack.

Washington’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley also stressed that pictures showing the aftermath of the attack were “heartbreaking.”

“You can be sure the United States will stand with Russia on defeating these extremists who continue to senselessly harm innocent people,” she said in a statement.

Women hold flowers and lit candles as they take part in a gathering in memory of victims of the blast in the Saint Petersburg metro in Simferopol, Crimea, on April 3, 2017.

Extremist linked to bombing attack

According to the Interfax news agency, a police official said that assailant had links to outlawed extremist groups.

He noted that the suspect was probably a 23-year-old man with central Asia heritage, but final conclusions would be made after DNA tests had been carried out on remains at the site.

A man who was earlier thought to have a role in the incident based on security camera footage has presented himself to the police claiming his innocence.



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