St Petersburg metro blast suspect likely born in central Asia

BISHKEK/ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, April 4 (Reuters) - A blast in a St Petersburg train carriage on Monday that killed 11 people and wounded 45 was probably carried out by a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan, authorities from the predominantly Muslim central Asian state said on Tuesday.

The explosion was a suspected suicide bombing by a perpetrator with ties to radical Islamists, Russia's Interfax news agency cited a law enforcement source as saying late on Monday. A spokesman for the Kyrgyz GKNB security service identified the suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in the city of Osh in 1995, but provided no other details.

Russia has been on particular alert against attacks on its soil in reprisal for its military intervention in Syria, where Moscow's forces have been supporting troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Islamic State group has repeatedly threatened revenge attacks.

If it is confirmed that the bomber was linked to radical Islmists, some sections of Russian society could see it as proof that Moscow's decision to intervene in Syria has made civilians into targets.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic of six million, is a close political ally of Moscow and hosts a Russian military airbase.

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SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Security forces take security measures around the area after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An injured person is helped by emergency services outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages at metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
REFILE - INCLUDING EDITORS NOTEAn injured person is helped by emergency services outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages at metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH
An injured person is helped by emergency services outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages at metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
An injured person is helped by emergency services outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages at metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
Emergency services direct pedestrians outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages at metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
An injured person stands outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages at metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Security forces take security measures around the area after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Health team workers are dispatched after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Health team workers and firefighters are dispatched after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Health team workers are dispatched after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Health team workers are dispatched after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Health team workers are dispatched after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Health team workers are dispatched after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 3: Health team workers are dispatched after an explosion at a subway station in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3, 2017. At least 10 people were killed on the blast. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Fire fighters at the entrance to Sennaya Ploshchad station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Sergei Konkov/TASS (Photo by Sergei Konkov\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Emergency service vehicles at the entrance to Tekhnologichesky Institut station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Sergei Konkov/TASS (Photo by Sergei Konkov\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Fire fighters and ambulances at the entrance to Sennaya Ploshchad station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Sergei Konkov/TASS (Photo by Sergei Konkov\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Emergency service workers and ambulance workers at the entrance to Tekhnologichesky Institut station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Sergei Konkov/TASS (Photo by Sergei Konkov\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Ambulance worker at the entrance to Tekhnologichesky Institut station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Sergei Konkov/TASS (Photo by Sergei Konkov\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Emergency service workers and ambulance cars at the entrance to Tekhnologichesky Institut station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Peter Kovalev/TASS (Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Fire fighters, emergency service vehicles and a helicopter in Moskovsky Prospekt at the entrance to Tekhnologichesky Institut station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Peter Kovalev/TASS (Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images)
Emergency services personnel walk at the entrance to Technological Institute metro station in Saint Petersburg on April 3, 2017. Around 10 people were feared dead and dozens injured Monday after an explosion rocked the metro system in Russia's second city Saint Petersburg, according to authorities, who were not ruling out a terror attack. / AFP PHOTO / Olga MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)
General view of emergency services attending the scene outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
General view of emergency services attending the scene outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
General view of emergency services attending the scene outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA -- APRIL 3, 2017: Fire fighters at the entrance to Tekhnologichesky Institut station of the St Petersburg metro in the aftermath of an explosion which occurred in a train at 14:40 Moscow time; according to Russian National Antiterrorism Committee several people were killed in the explosion. Peter Kovalev/TASS (Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images)
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Late on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the site of the blast, which made a huge hole in the side of a carriage and blew of the door, with metal wreckage strewn across the platform.

Passengers were seen hammering at the windows of one closed carriage after the train had pulled into the Sennaya Ploshad station at around 2:40 p.m. (1140 GMT).

Russian TV said many had suffered lacerations from glass shards and metal, the force of the explosion amplified by the confines of the carriage and the tunnel.

St Petersburg television showed footage of the corpse of a bearded man they said was the perpetrator. The man resembled footage of a man captured on closed circuit television who Russian media said was a suspect.

Officials said they were treating the blast as an act of terrorism, but there was no official confirmation of any link to Islamist radicals.

The National Anti-Terrorist Committee said an explosive device had been found at another station, hidden in a fire extinguisher, but had been defused.

Authorities closed all St. Petersburg metro stations. The Moscow metro said it was taking unspecified additional security measures in case of an attack there.

The blast raised security fears beyond Russian frontiers. France, which has itself suffered a series of attacks, announced additional security measures in Paris.

(Additional reporting by Svetlana Soprunova, Polina Nikolskaya, Sujata Rao, Alex Winning and Maria Tsvetkova, writing by Philippa Fletcher; editing by Christian Lowe)

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