Bomb blast in St. Petersburg shopping mall leaves 13 injured

Investigators suspect attempted murder, but no track is excluded. Suspicions focus on man of "non-Slavic" appearance caught on CCTV. A few weeks ago, Russian security forces dismantled an Islamist cell that planned an attack on December 16th. 

St. Petersburg (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thirteen people were injured last night by the explosion of a rudimentary device in a shopping center in St. Petersburg, in the north-west of the country. The homemade bomb, filled with pieces of metal, had been abandoned on the spot, according to the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK).

The bomb exploded in the commercial center of the Perekriostok chain, with a force equivalent to "200 grams of TNT". According to the local information website today, the surveillance cameras of the supermarket captured the image of a potential culprit: a "non-Slavic" looking man wearing a green hooded jacket. In the first images the suspect was carrying a heavy-looking beige backpack, absent in subsequent shots. Other Russian sources add that the bomb had been hidden inside the lockers used by shopkeepers to leave their personal belongings.

The Nak is coordinating the investigation and says no lead will be left unexplored. At present, an investigation has been opened for "attempted murder".

The specter of terrorism recalls the April attack that caused 16 deaths in the city's metro. On the occasion, the 22-year-old Kyrgyz Akbarzhon Jalilov, was killed in the explosion triggered at a distance. A few weeks ago, the Russian security services announced that they had dismantled an Islamic State jihadist group cell that had planned an attack on December 16, in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, very popular with pilgrims and tourists.