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Father Of Suspects In St. Petersburg Subway Bombing Loses Russian Citizenship


Akhral Azimov's two sons are among several people of Central Asian origin who have been arrested in connection with a bombing that killed 16 people on a St. Petersburg subway train.

BISHKEK -- The father of two suspects in a deadly subway bombing in St. Petersburg has lost his Russian citizenship and will be deported to Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry says.

Ministry spokeswoman Aiymkan Kulukeeva told RFE/RL on December 15 that Akhral Azimov, an ethnic Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan's southern region of Osh, had been informed of the decision by Russian authorities and ordered to leave Russia as soon as possible.

Since Azimov also holds a Kyrgyz passport, he will come back to Kyrgyzstan, Kulukeeva said, rejecting earlier reports saying that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Azimov in Moscow.

Azimov's two sons -- Abror and Akram Azizov, also Russian citizens -- are among several people of Central Asian origin who have been arrested in connection with the April 3 bombing that killed 16 people on a St. Petersburg subway train, including the attacker.

Investigators say the suicide attack was carried out by Akbarjon Jalilov, who was also an ethnic-Uzbek Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan.

On December 14, a court in St. Petersburg sentenced one of the suspects in the case, Obod Abdyraimov, to five years in prison after the defendant pleaded guilty to recruiting men and women to join the Islamic State (IS) extremist organization.

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