Firings in wake of deadly Russia bombing

Dmitry Medvedev has fired a senior
transport official and three police chiefs in charge of security at Moscow’s
Domodedovo airport, saying it was just the start of a shake-up after this
week’s deadly bombing.

The Russian president said he was
sacking Andrei Alexeyev, the head of the transport police for Russia’s central
region, as well as the police chief at Domodedovo airport and two of his
deputies for security lapses that led to Monday’s terror attack that killed 35
people.

 “There must be a shake-up of the entire
transport police. If people don’t understand how to work we’ll find different
people,” he said.

No one has yet claimed
responsibility for Monday’s attack, which police said was the work of a suicide
bomber and three accomplices tied to shadowy Islamist groups in the North
Caucasus region.

 Police believe they have found the severed
head of the suicide bomber but they have yet to identify him.

The Kremlin has chosen to focus its
response on security failings rather than draw attention to the deadly
insurgency mounting in the North Caucasus where rebels are seeking to create an
Islamist state.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime
minister, said it was unlikely that those behind the bombing were connected to
Chechnya.

 His statement is likely to stoke speculation
the attack was the work of groups connected to Ingushetia or Dagestan, which
neighbour Chechnya and where insurgency is spreading.

The bomb was detonated in
Domodedovo’s arrivals hall, where people greet passengers who have already gone
through passport control and collected their baggage, and which, as in many
countries, is open to all.

Russia had ordered all those
entering airport premises to go through metal detectors and bag checks
following the 2004 attack. But the tighter security lapsed with only sporadic
checks made, while responsibility switched from airport security to police and
then to both, Kommersant claimed.

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