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All 11 Suspects In St. Petersburg Metro Bomb Attack Plead Innocent


The bombing suspects attend a court hearing on April 2.

The 11 suspects in a deadly 2017 metro bomb blast in Russia's second-largest city have pleaded innocent as the terror trial got under way on April 2 in a St. Petersburg military courtroom.

All of the suspects in the attack that killed 15 people and injured 67 others are natives of former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Investigators say that 22-year-old suicide bomber Akbarjon Jalilov, an ethnic-Uzbek Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan, brought two explosive devices to the St. Petersburg metro on April 3, 2017.

He allegedly left one bomb on the platform of a metro station, but it was found and safely defused.

Then, according to the investigators, Jalilov detonated the second bomb in a metro carriage between two stations.


Russia's state-run TASS news agency identified Abror Azimov as the suspected mastermind of the attack and listed 10 others as alleged accomplices.

They are charged with being members of a terrorist group, supporting terrorist activity, and illegal production and sale of explosive devices.

Investigators allege that Azimov and his brother, Akram, who is also on trial, were in contact with a Turkish-based terrorist group that financed the bombing.

Shokhista Karimova, 47, a fruit seller from Uzbekistan, is the sole female suspect in the case. She was detained several weeks after the attack but has claimed that a grenade and explosives found in her home were planted by Russia's FSB security service.

Sitting in the court's glass cage for defendants, she told members of the media that "I am innocent."

The bombing was claimed by the so-called Imam Shamil Battalion, a little-known group that experts say is linked to Al-Qaeda.

With reporting by TASS, Interfax, and AFP
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