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30 Mar, 2010 14:22

Moscow mourns victims of Metro blasts

Hundreds of Muscovites and guests of the capital have brought flowers to Lubyanka and Park Kultury - two Moscow Metro stations where deadly blasts took the lives of 40 train passengers on Monday.

Two tables have been set up at the center of Park Kultury Station for people to put flowers and icons. Passengers hurrying to work have been stopping and standing in silence, unable to find words.

At Lubyanka Station a red banner proclaims: “On 29 March 2010 at this site in the carriage of train a terrorist act took place, killing people. At this station a commemorative plaque will be installed.”

In contrast to Park Kultury, passengers could still see traces of the terrible attack Tuesday morning – there are dents in the marble facing of the station.

In order to express their condolences drivers have also been coming to the station. They say they can’t ignore this tragedy and many have been trying to park their cars along the overflowing streets to descend and give moral support to relatives of the victims.

The worst terror attack in the past six years took place on the Moscow Metro on the morning of March 29. Forty people died and over 120 were wounded in the bomb blasts at Lubyanka and Park Kultury Metro stations. According to the latest reports from the Russian Emergencies Ministry, 76 injured are now being treated in hospitals.

“I am afraid, but I believe such things do not happen twice,” one of the witnesses of the tragedy stated. “I was going to University, and I was late, because the trains stopped. I saw that train hit by blast, I saw people lying on the platform. I am really scared now.”

“I hope it will be okay, but I am really afraid,” another said.

“It is disgusting, I do not know who did it and what they wanted,” one Muscovite noted. “Life is so short, how could people commit such terrible things?”

“I feel scared,” a woman confessed. “I will have to walk to get to work, because there is no way I am going by Metro.”

The first funerals for the victims of Monday's Metro blasts in Moscow are set to be held on Wednesday.

The Moscow government assigned more than $1.3 thousand per funeral of each victim. Meanwhile, identification of the dead in morgues continues. The bodies of four women and one man have still not been identified, reports ITAR-TASS news agency.

According to the main version of the investigation two female suicide bombers carried out the attack.

“At present law enforcement agencies have photos of the women suspected of the blasts at Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations. These portraits have been sent to the Northern Caucasus in order to identify the two women,” Viktor Biryukov, spokesperson of the Moscow Police Department, told RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday.

He also said Moscow police still do not have the photos of the accomplices of the terrorists.

After the tragedy the Moscow Metro and all Russian airports have tightened security in order to prevent other possible terror acts.

"Some progress has been made in the investigation of these double suicide bombings,” said the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev. "I'm sure all those who are complicit in the terrorist attacks, those who commissioned them, those who financed them, those who trained, those who helped and all the executors will be punished in accordance with the law. There is retaliation in store for all of them. Nobody will evade responsibility."

According to Patrushev there is also a possibility that the investigation into the latest atrocities may reveal Georgian traces.

"We had information that individual members of the Georgian special services maintain contacts with terrorist organizations in the Russian North Caucasus. We must check that scenario as well," he said.

Investigators have established the route of the suicide bombers, Interfax news agency reported citing a source in law enforcement bodies.

According to him, the two women came to Moscow on a private intercity bus that regularly brings merchants from the Northern Caucasus to Moscow’s Luzhniki market.

The driver of the bus identified the women by the photos. According to the driver, they came to Moscow early in the morning on March 29. They were accompanied by a Caucasian man, between 180-185cm tall, stocky and wearing a dark blue jacket with white insets.

No official confirmation has yet been made.

The Russian Transport Ministry plans to make some changes in transport security laws, which could include the obligatory validation of personal tickets for intercity buses.

If the amendment is accepted, bus tickets will only be issued to those who provide valid forms of identification.