An explosive device described by Russian media as containing about seven ounces of TNT detonated at a supermarket in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, injuring at least ten people. One of the victims is said to be in critical condition.
Russian authorities characterized the bomb as a “homemade explosive device” stuffed with “killing agents,” apparently a reference to ball bearings used as shrapnel in the device. Some of those ball bearings are said to have ended up in the stomach of the most seriously injured victim.
The bomb was strong enough to blow the door off the supermarket and punch a hole in the wall. According to Russian media, it was hidden in a locker where shoppers can deposit their belongings before entering the store.
Russian authorities consider the bombing an act of attempted murder but have not yet classified it as terrorism.
The Washington Post notes that only a few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked President Donald Trump and CIA Director Mike Pompeo for providing a tip based on American intelligence that thwarted a planned string of terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg.
“In April, an explosion on the St. Petersburg metro system killed at least 13 people and injured more than 50 others,” the BBC recalls. The prime suspects in that bombing are naturalized Russian citizens from Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. One of the suspects recently pled guilty to recruiting terrorist operatives for the Islamic State.
“All possible versions of what has happened are being worked on. As of now, it has been established that 10 people were taken to the city’s hospitals with injuries. At the moment, the lives of those injured are not under threat,” Alexander Klaus, head of the St. Petersburg investigative committee, told Reuters.