Another Deadly Bomb Rocks Russia

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 30 2013 10:28 AM

Another Deadly Bomb Rocks Russia

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Russian policemen guard the site of a deadly bombing on a packed trolleybus in Volgograd on December 30, 2013. The bombing was caused by a male suicide bomber, investigators said today, as the official death toll rose to 14 people. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Another day, another deadly act of potential terrorism in Russia. Following Sunday’s train station explosion in Volgograd, a suicide bomber seems to have detonated a explosive device on one of the city’s trolleys on Monday, killing at least fourteen. From CNN:

Video footage from the scene Monday showed the twisted shell of the blue trolleybus, with debris spread around it. The impact of the blast blew out the roof of the bus, as well as windows of several nearby houses. At least 28 people were reported to be wounded. Several are in serious condition, including a 6-month-old baby, RIA Novosti reported.

The issue of terrorism is a fraught one for the Russian government, particularly in the run-up to the already controversial Sochi Winter Olympics. Volgograd, a major transportation hub, is about 600 miles away from Sochi, and the lurking menace of terrorist attacks could keep spectators away from the games. Last summer, the leader of Caucasus Emirate, an Islamist Chechen terrorist group, threatened to use “maximum force” of violence at Sochi during the games. Chechen terrorists have claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks over the last several years, a trend likely to continue as political turmoil broils in the North Caucasus. 

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But at the moment, the threat to the Sochi Olympics seems to be the government’s primary concern. During the games, athletes will be frequently shuttled around the city, possibly exposing them to attack. Now a group of terrorists has vowed to make the Olympics as brutally deadly as possible—and, if Monday’s explosion is any indication, they’re prepared to keep their word. 

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.

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