Putin vows retribution for bombing


A wounded blast victim is brought by rescuers to a hospital from Domodedovo airport in Moscow (AP)

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has vowed “retribution is inevitable” over the Moscow airport suicide bombing.

Mr Putin has built much of his reputation on harsh statements, but he did not go into detail on his plans.

No claims of responsibility have been made for Monday’s attack at Domodedovo Airport, which killed 35 and left 180 injured.

Suspicion has fallen on Islamist separatist insurgents from Chechnya or elsewhere in Russia’s troubled Caucasus region who have been battling Russian authority for over 15 years.

Chechen insurgents have claimed responsibility for an array of attacks in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia, including a double suicide bombing on the capital’s subway system in March 2010 that killed 40 people. They also have hit Domodedovo Airport before, with two suicide bombers slipping through its security in 2004 to kill 90 people.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev described security at the airport as being in “a state of anarchy” and said management there must bear key responsibility for security failures. He also said government security officials would be held accountable for any lapses found.

Airport management objected, saying transport police were responsible for the inspection of people coming into the international arrivals area, where the bombing took place.

The finger-pointing could undermine confidence in Russia’s security ahead of Mr Medvedev’s high-profile appearance this week trying to attract investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The attack also called into question Russia’s ability to safely host major international events like the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup.

Mr Putin rose to power largely on his tough-against-terror image, including a famous vow that Chechen rebels would be hunted down and killed “in the outhouse”.

But despite launching the second Russia-Chechnya war and pushing hard against suspected rebels, he was unable to wipe out the Chechen insurgency during his 2000-2008 presidency.

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