A suicide bomber has killed more than 30 people and injured scores more at Moscow’s busiest airport.
The city immediately went on high terrorist alert and stepped up patrols on the Metro underground system, a previous terrorist target, after the blast at Domodedovo Airport.
Thousands of people were in the terminal at the time of the blast, which happened in the international arrivals hall.
Mark Green, a British Airways passenger who had just arrived at the airport, told the BBC he heard the huge explosion as he was leaving the terminal.
“Literally, it shook you,” he said. “As we were putting the bags in the car a lot of alarms… were going off and people started flowing out of the terminal, some of whom were covered in blood.”
“One gentleman had a pair of jeans on that was ripped and his thigh from his groin to his knee was covered in blood,” he said.
Domodedovo is generally regarded the most up-to-date of Moscow’s three commercial airports, but its security procedures have been questioned. Built in 1964, the airport is 41.8km south-east of the centre of Moscow and handled over 22M travellers last year.
In 2004 two suicide bombers were able to board planes at Domodedovo by buying tickets illegally from airport personnel. The bombers blew themselves up in mid-air, killing all 90 people aboard the two flights.
Terrorists have targeted other transportation centres in Moscow. In more recent suicide bombings, twin blasts in the Metro last March killed 39 people and wounded more than 60 people.
In December 2009, Chechen rebels blew up a high-speed train between Moscow and St. Petersburg, an attack that killed 26 people and injured scores.