FoxNews.com is reporting that female homicide bombers hit a jam-packed Russian subway system at rush-hour, killing at least 34.
37 people were killed in two explosions that hit the Moscow metro during morning rush hour on Monday, local news agencies reported.
The first hit the Lubyanka Metro Station in central Moscow about 7:56am local time. Twenty-five people were killed and 15 people were injured.
Sky News reported that a second explosion hit the Park Kultury station, three stations away on the same line, about 40 minutes later at 8:38am local time. Emergency services told AFP 12 people were killed and seven injured. Initial reports were that 15 had died.
RIA Novosti reported that a security source told the agency the Lubyanka station was hit by a bomb. Interfax, quoting a Russian security source, reported the first blast may have been caused by a suicide bomber.
[...] The Moscow Metro, which spans almost the entire Russian capital, is the world's second most heavily used metro system after Tokyo's twin subway.
The Lubyanka Station is on the Sokolnicheskaya Line of the Moscow Metro, located under Lubyanka Square.
The square houses the former headquarters of the KGB and the Lubyanka prison. It now houses the Federal Security Service of Russia, which succeeded the KGB.
It is located a third of a mile (500 meters) from the Kremlin.
Spokeswoman for the Russian emergencies ministry Irina Andrianova told ITAR-TASS 14 people were killed in the train at Lubyanka and 11 on the platform.
Sky News reported the explosion struck the second car of the train.
Andrianova added that rescue workers were on the scene. ITAR-TASS said emergency services were impeded from accessing the site of the blast due to the early morning rush hour traffic.
All train services on the Moscow metro system have been suspended.
Sky's correspondent in Moscow, Amanda Walker, said the attack struck right at the peak of morning rush hour.
"It's the time when thousands of people are heading to work, there are lots of different lines, people going in and out everywhere," Walker said.
"You could not get a busier time and whoever is behind the attack couldn't have hit more in the heart of the network."
"The city is certainly on high alert," she said after reports that it could have been a suicide bomber.
The Russian capital over the last decade has been hit by a string of deadly explosions claimed by militants from its turbulent southern region of Chechnya but this has become less frequent in recent years.
The last fatal attack on the Moscow subway was in 2004. That attack, which killed 39 people and wounded another 150, was claimed by Chechen terrorists.
"Whenever this kind of thing happens in Russia the finger immediately points at Chechnya," Walker said.
However, she said there has been no direct claim from any group, including Chechen separatists who have been responsible for previous attacks.
According to The Council on Foreign Relations:
The Chechens are a largely Muslim ethnic group that has lived for centuries in the mountainous Caucasus region. For the past two hundred years, Chechens have resisted Russian rule. During World War II, Russian leader Joseph Stalin accused the Chechens of cooperating with the Nazis and forcibly deported the entire population to Kazakhstan and Siberia. Tens of thousands of Chechens died, and the survivors were allowed to return home only after Stalin's death.
Experts say there are several ties between the al-Qaeda network and Chechen groups. A Chechan warlord known as Khattab is said to have met with Osama bin Laden while both men were fighting the 1979-89 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Alexander Vershbow, a U.S. ambassador to Russia, said shortly after September 11, 2001, "We have long recognized that Osama bin Laden and other international networks have been fueling the flames in Chechnya, including the involvement of foreign commanders like Khattab." Khattab was killed in April 2002.
Zacarias Moussaoui, whom U.S. authorities have charged with being the "20th hijacker" in the September 11 attacks, was reported by the Wall Street Journal to be formerly "a recruiter for al-Qaeda-backed rebels in Chechnya." Chechen militants reportedly fought alongside al-Qaeda and Taliban forces against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan was one of the only governments to recognize Chechen independence.
Russian authorities, including former president Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly stressed the involvement of international terrorists and bin Laden associates in Chechnya—in part, experts say, to generate Western sympathy for Russia's military campaign against the Chechen rebels. Russia's former defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, claimed that a videotape of Khattab meeting with bin Laden had been found in Afghanistan, but Russia has not aired the tape publicly.