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    MOSCOW METRO BLAST: FSB INVESTIGATES

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 8, RIA NOVOSTI - The Federal Security Service, or FSB, has overtaken investigation on an appalling blast of Friday last in the Moscow metro, Sergei Ignatchenko, FSB chief of PR, said to Novosti, yesterday. The case passed over to the Service after the prosecution launched criminal proceedings on terrorism and mass murder-a corpus delicti up to the FSB, he explained.

    Moscow will have Mourning Day, Monday February 9, announced Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

    The train terror act came in morning rush hours between the Avtozavodskaya and Paveletskaya, in the south part of the city centre. The blast killed 39 and injured 140, say the latest statistics. Only twenty of the victims have been identified for now. More than a hundred survivors stay in hospital, reports the city prosecutor's office.

    Mayor Luzhkov visited the Sklifossovsky First Aid Institute, Saturday. As he said to the media, 39 of the blast patients are in a bad state, and another four at death's door. A majority have throat, face, hand and arm burns.

    The suicide terrorist is assumed to have had two or more accomplices. As expert conclusions have it, the blast came an approximate half a metre above the train floor-which supposes an explosive device in a case in the terrorist's hands. To all appearances, it was the criminal who switched it.

    The act had evidently taken thorough planning. That allows to assume that the terrorist had assistance, remarked the mayor.

    He complimented law enforcement agencies, the prosecutor's men and municipal medical services on smooth and quick work.

    Investigators have two basic conjectures-a terror act and explosives accidentally blasting, a federal Interior Ministry officer said to Novosti. Experts do not rule out a passenger carrying a solid amount of gunpowder or some other explosives. It is too early now to say what kind of explosive device, if any, was used in the tragedy.

    Forensic experts have yet to identify bodies mutilated beyond recognition, including a supposed suicide terrorist, added our informant. To all appearances, the latter had no identity papers on him or her, and will not be inquired after-and so will never be identified, expects the officer.

    Preliminary detection and investigation was summed up yesterday, with short-term priority objectives posed-in particular, to step up safety measures in Moscow and other major Russian cities, said our interviewee,

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