Putin says St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast was terrorist attack

Yahoo News Photo Staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a bomb blast in a St. Petersburg supermarket on Wednesday was an act of terrorism, and that security forces whose lives were threatened by terrorist suspects should shoot to kill if necessary.

Putin, who is running for reelection in March, was speaking on Thursday at an awards ceremony in the Kremlin for Russian personnel who served in Russia’s Syria campaign, which Moscow has framed as an anti-terrorism operation.

“You know that yesterday in St. Petersburg a terrorist act was carried out,” Putin told the audience, referring to the explosion that injured 13 shoppers in a branch of the Perekrestok supermarket chain.

Investigators have opened a criminal case into Wednesday evening’s blast, which they say was caused by a homemade bomb packed with pieces of metal.

Russian media reports said the bomb was hidden inside a rucksack in a locker where shoppers leave their belongings and said the person who left the bomb, described as being of “non-Slavic appearance”, had been caught on CCTV.

No group has claimed responsibility. (Reuters)

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<p>An interior view of a supermarket is seen after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, in this photo released by Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committe on December 28, 2017. (Photo: National Anti-Terrorism Committe/Handout via Reuters) </p>
St. Petersburg bomb blast

An interior view of a supermarket is seen after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, in this photo released by Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committe on December 28, 2017. (Photo: National Anti-Terrorism Committe/Handout via Reuters)

<p>An investigator works inside the supermarket after an explosion, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: Dmitri Lovetsky/AP) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

An investigator works inside the supermarket after an explosion, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: Dmitri Lovetsky/AP)

<p>This photo provided by the Information Center of the Russian National Antiterrorism Committee shows the damage inside a supermarket after an explosion, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: National Antiterrorism Committee via AP) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

This photo provided by the Information Center of the Russian National Antiterrorism Committee shows the damage inside a supermarket after an explosion, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: National Antiterrorism Committee via AP)

<p>An interior view of a supermarket is seen after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, in this photo released by Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committe on December 28, 2017. (Photo: National Anti-Terrorism Committe/Handout via Reuters) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

An interior view of a supermarket is seen after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, in this photo released by Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committe on December 28, 2017. (Photo: National Anti-Terrorism Committe/Handout via Reuters)

<p>Police officers and firefighters work at the site of an explosion in a supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

Police officers and firefighters work at the site of an explosion in a supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>Police officers and firefighters work at the site of an explosion in a supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

Police officers and firefighters work at the site of an explosion in a supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>A policeman stands guard near a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

A policeman stands guard near a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters)

<p>Police officers and firefighters work at the site of an explosion in a supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

Police officers and firefighters work at the site of an explosion in a supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>An Emergency Ministry member and a policeman are seen outside a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

An Emergency Ministry member and a policeman are seen outside a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters)

<p>A policeman stands guard near a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

A policeman stands guard near a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters)

<p>Firefighters seen by the Perekrestok supermarket in Kalinina Square, St. Petersburg, Russia on Dec. 27, 2017. An explosion inside the store has injured several people. (Photo: Alexander Demianchuk/TASS via Getty Images) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

Firefighters seen by the Perekrestok supermarket in Kalinina Square, St. Petersburg, Russia on Dec. 27, 2017. An explosion inside the store has injured several people. (Photo: Alexander Demianchuk/TASS via Getty Images)

<p>Vehicles of emergency services are parked near a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters) </p>
St. Petersburg supermarket bomb blast

Vehicles of emergency services are parked near a supermarket after an explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2017. (Photo: Anton Vaganov/Reuters)

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