MOSCOW: A Russian court jailed 11 people on Tuesday for plotting a suicide bombing on the St Petersburg metro that killed 15 people and injured scores during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to his home city in 2017. One man, a Russian national from Kyrgyzstan, was given a life sentence after being found guilty of organising the attack. The other nine men and one woman, mostly citizens of central Asian ex-Soviet states, received sentences of between 19 and 28 years. All 11 had denied the allegations against them.
Before detonating himself, the suicide bomber also planted a second bomb in the metro which he planned to detonate remotely, but which malfunctioned and did not go off, the Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said on Tuesday. In a statement, the Investigative Committee described the men as radical Islamists acting as part of a group founded in Syria in 2013 by a native of Kyrgyzstan named Sirozhidin Mukhtarov.
International warrants have been issued for Mukhtarov`s arrest and for that of another group leader, Bobirzhon Makhbubov, the Investigative Committee said. Russia has experienced bomb attacks carried out by Islamist rebels from Russia`s North Caucasus region in the past, although Moscow has largely crushed that insurgency.