(photo credit: Associated Press)
MOSCOW — An
explosion ripped through the international arrivals hall at Moscow's
busiest airport on Monday, killing 35 people and wounding about 170,
officials said. Russian President Dimitri Medvedev called it a terror
Israeli Ambassador to Russia Dorit Golender assured Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that there were no Israeli's among the injured in the attack.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the victims of the terrorist attack.
"The world needs to unite to defeat terror," he added, speaking in the Knesset plenum.
The state RIA Novosti news agency,
citing law enforcement sources, said the mid-afternoon explosion at
Domodedovo Airport may have been caused by a suicide bomber. Those at
the airport said it was filled with thousands of people at the time and
the terminal filled up quickly with smoke.
"From the preliminary
information we have, it was a terror attack," President Dmitry Medvedev
told officials in a televised briefing.
He ordered authorities to
beef up security at Moscow's two other commercial airports and other
transport facilities, including the subway system, the target of past
Although there have been repeated attacks on the
Moscow subway and Russian trains — most blamed on Chechen militants —
the bombing Monday was the first involving a Russian airport since 2004.
Lavochkin, who was waiting in the arrivals hall for a friend to arrive
from Cuba, said he saw emergency teams carrying bloodied people out of
"I heard a loud bang, saw plastic panels falling
down from the ceiling and heard people screaming. Then people started
running away," Lavochkin told Rossiya 24 television.
Mark Green, a
British Airways passenger who had just arrived at the airport, told BBC
television he heard the huge explosion as he left the terminal.
it shook you," he said. "As we were putting the bags in the car a lot
of alarms ... were going off and people started flowing out of the
terminal, some of whom were covered in blood."
"One gentleman had a pair of jeans on that was ripped and his thigh from his groin to his knee was covered in blood," he added.
Green said thousands of people were in the terminal at the time of the blast.
Malyavina, a spokeswoman for the Social Development and Health
Ministry, said 31 people were killed and about 130 were wounded. She
said 56 ambulances were sent to treat the victims.
"The airport is filled with smoke," she said on Rossiya 24.
in 1964, Domodedovo is located 26 miles (42 kilometers) southeast of
the center of Moscow and is the largest of the three major airports that
serve the Russian capital, serving over 22 million people last year.
It is generally regarded as Moscow's most up-to-date airport, but its security procedures have been called into question.
2004, two suicide bombers were able to board planes at Domodedovo by
buying tickets illegally from airport personnel. The female bombers blew
themselves up in mid-air, killing all 90 people aboard the two flights.
77 airlines offer regular flights to Domodedovo, serving 241
international and national routes, according to airport's website.
The airport insists that security is one of its top priorities, claiming
on its website that its "cutting-edge operations technology guarantees
the safety of passengers' and guests' lives."
Terrorists have previously targeted other transportation centers in Moscow.
Twin blasts in the subway last March killed 39 people and wounded more than 60 people.
In December 2009, Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for blowing up a
high-speed train between Moscow and St. Petersburg, an attack that
killed 26 people and injured scores.