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Russian investigators suspect that a female suicide bomber was responsible for a blast that killed at least five people on a bus in the southern city of Volgograd on Monday, the Interfax news agency has reported.
The explosion – which wounded 32 people, seven of whom were in grave condition – was the deadliest such attack outside Russia's volatile North Caucasus region in nearly three years. After a series of conflicting reports about the cause, the national anti-terrorism committee said it was a bomb.
"Today at 2.05pm, an unknown explosive device detonated on a passenger bus in the city of Volgograd, causing human casualties," the committee said. It did not assign blame and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
"This woman got on the bus at one of the stops and the explosion occurred almost immediately afterwards. This was confirmed by the surviving passengers," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
State television showed footage, taken from a camera mounted on a driver's dashboard, of an explosion ripping through the bus as it travelled along a tree-lined road, sending shards of metal and glass flying.