St. Petersburg Bombing Suspect Identified as Kyrgyz-born Russian Citizen

Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation of six million, is Russia's close political ally and hosts a Russian military airbase.

Russian President Vladimir Putin puts flowers down outside Tekhnologicheskiy Institut metro station in St. Petersburg, April 3, 2017.
GRIGORY DUKOR/REUTERS

The likely suspect in a deadly blast in the Russian city of St. Petersburg is a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen, Kyrgyzstan's security service said on Tuesday.

The security service identified the suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, who was born in 1993 in Osh, the country's second-largest city.

A spokesman for the GKNB security service said it had received an official request from Russian security services to identify the suspect.

Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation of six million, is Russia's close political ally and hosts a Russian military airbase.

On Monday, a law-enforcement source told Interfax that authorities had established the identity of the suspected suicide bomber and that the suspect was a 23-year-old from central Asia who had carried an explosive device into the St Petersburg metro in a rucksack.

A man who was captured on surveillance cameras and earlier suspected of a role in the blast came forward to police and said that he played no role, Interfax reported.

Russia's state investigative committee said it had opened a criminal case over the bombing on charges of a terrorist act. The agency, which has sweeping powers, said it had sent a group of investigators to St. Petersburg, adding it would consider other possible causes of the incident besides terrorism.