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    Ingush president orders checks on militants' relatives after Moscow subway blasts

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    Ingush president Yunus-Bek Yevkurov ordered law enforcement forces on Tuesday to probe the relatives of the militants killed in recent police sweeps in Ingushetia, after the suicide bombings on the Moscow subway, the president's spokesman said.

    Ingush president Yunus-Bek Yevkurov ordered law enforcement forces on Tuesday to probe the relatives of the militants killed in recent police sweeps in Ingushetia, after the suicide bombings on the Moscow subway, the president's spokesman said.

    Twin blasts occurred during the rush hour at two Moscow subway stations on Monday morning, killing at least 39 people and injuring around 70.

    The first attack took place at around 8:00am (04:00 GMT) at the Lubyanka station near the former KGB headquarters, which now houses the Federal Security Service. The second bomb detonated some 40 minutes later four stops along the line at Park Kultury station, which is within walking distance of the Kremlin.

    "With regard to the blasts on the Moscow subway the president [Yevkurov] has ordered the heads of the Ingush law enforcement forces to check all people listed on their records to find out where they were when the attacks took place," Kaloi Alkhigov said.

    While no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, said bombers may have been linked to Russia's volatile North Caucasus.

    Russia has been fighting militants in the North Caucasus for almost two decades, fighting two brutal separatist wars in Chechnya. Analysts suggest Monday's attacks are revenge for a recent operation in Chechnya that saw the deaths of over 20 radical Islamic fighters.

    In early March, the Federal Security Service said the notorious North Caucasian gang leader Alexander Tikhomirov, also known as Said Buryatsky, who was linked to the bombing of the Nevsky Express in September 2009, was killed in a police sweep in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia. Five other militants involved in the attack were also reportedly killed.

    On Tuesday, Russian media quoted sources close to the investigation as saying the two female suicide bombers who blew themselves up in the Moscow subway could have been trained for the attacks by Tikhomirov's gang. The leading Russian business daily Kommersant said the gang leader was personally involved in training around 30 suicide bombers, nine of whom had already carried out suicide attacks.

    Investigators were quoted by the paper as saying they had found most of the fragments of the women's bodies at the scene, except their middle parts and one hand of each of the women. This means that both attackers were probably carrying bombs in their handbags.

    Both bombers reportedly had similar features to residents of the Caucasus region, were 20 to 25 years of age, and were wearing dark clothes.

    Media reports said cameras in the entrance of the Yugo-Zapadnaya station of the Sokolnicheskaya line, where the terrorists reportedly entered the subway, showed they were accompanied by two Russian-looking women of around 25 and 40 years of age and a man. Investigators believe they are linked to the terrorist attacks and have begun a search for them.

    MAGAS, March 30 (RIA Novosti)

     

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