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article imageSaint Petersburg supermarket attack suspect arrested

By AFP     Dec 30, 2017 in World

Russian investigators on Saturday arrested a suspect behind the Saint Petersburg bomb attack which tore through a supermarket this week, wounding 18 people.

"The suspect is being questioned," a spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, said in a separate statement.

"The organiser and direct perpetrator who triggered an improvised explosive device on December 27 in a supermarket in Saint Petersburg was arrested during a special operation by the FSB", the security services added, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

The news agency quoted a source close to the case as saying the suspect was 35-year-old Dmitry Lukyanenko, a resident of Saint Petersburg and member of the nationalist "New Age" movement.

The homemade bomb had been placed in a locker at the supermarket in northwestern Saint Petersburg, Russia's second city and President Vladimir Putin's home town.

A pregnant women was among those injured in the blast, claimed by the Islamic State group. Eight people remain in hospital.

Putin's 2015 decision to begin a military intervention in Syria's conflict on the side of President Bashar al-Assad has made Russia a priority target for jihadist groups.

The bombing came after the FSB security service said earlier this month it had prevented a terror attack on a key Orthodox cathedral in Saint Petersburg with the help of America's CIA, which led Putin to thank US President Donald Trump.

Saint Petersburg's subway was targeted by a bomb attack in April that left 15 dead and dozens wounded, claimed by a little-known group linked to Al-Qaeda.

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