Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a toast during an award ceremony in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, for Russian Armed Forces service personnel who took part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria. Putin said at Thursday’s award ceremony that Wednesday’s explosion at a supermarket in the country’s second-largest city was a terrorist attack. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a toast during an award ceremony in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, for Russian Armed Forces service personnel who took part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria. Putin said at Thursday’s award ceremony that Wednesday’s explosion at a supermarket in the country’s second-largest city was a terrorist attack. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Putin says St. Petersburg explosion was terror attack

MOSCOW — The explosion at a supermarket in Russia’s second-largest city was a terror attack, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, adding that he has ordered security agencies to kill terror suspects on the spot if they resist arrest.

Officials said 13 people were injured Wednesday when an improvised explosive device went off at a storage area for customers’ bags at the supermarket in St. Petersburg. Investigators said the device contained 200 grams (7 ounces) of explosives and was rigged with shrapnel to cause more damage.

While Russian law enforcement agencies stopped short of immediately describing the blast as a terror attack, Putin did not mince words Thursday at a Kremlin awards ceremony for Russian troops who fought in Syria.

“You know that yesterday a terror attack was conducted in St. Petersburg,” Putin said. He went on to note that another attack was thwarted recently, a reference to an alleged series of bombings in St. Petersburg that a CIA tip helped prevent, according to the Kremlin.

Putin said he told the chief of Russia’s main domestic security agency, the FSB, that agents who encounter resistance from terror suspects should “liquidate bandits on the spot.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the supermarket bomb. Eight of the injured remained hospitalized.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, would not offer any specifics on what led Putin to declare the attack an act of terrorism. The shrapnel that was part of the explosive device proved the explosion “was a terror attack anyway.”

Storage boxes at all Perekrestok supermarkets in St. Petersburg were removed following the attack. Other chains said they would tighten security measures.

Earlier this month, Putin telephoned President Donald Trump to thank him for what the Kremlin described as a CIA tip that prevented more bombings in St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown.

The Federal Security Service said seven suspects linked to the Islamic State group were arrested in connection to the alleged plot. The Kremlin said the suspects had planned to bomb Kazan Cathedral and other crowded sites.

In April, a suicide bombing in St. Petersburg’s subway left 16 people dead and wounded more than 50. Russian authorities identified the bomber as a 22-year old Kyrgyz-born Russian national.

During his remarks at the Kremlin awards ceremony, Putin said Russia’s 2-year military campaign in Syria helped eliminate militants who threatened Russia.

He has previously said that over 4,000 citizens from Russia and some 5,000 people from other ex-Soviet nations have joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

“What would have happened if those hundreds, thousands … had come back to us, trained, armed and well-prepared?” Putin said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer city council gave initial approval for more mixed-use developments in Riverside Light Industrial Park. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More industrial landowners in Red Deer are pursuing mixed-use zoning

A third of Riverside Light could become a commercial/industrial district

Central Alberta man facing second-degree murder in connection with December death.
Advocate file photo
Central Alberta man facing second-degree murder in connection with December death

Maskwacis RCMP said female found dead in Ermineskin Cree Nation residence last December

Red Deer College has been working towards obtaining university status for a couple of years. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer College’s university status back in question

Red Deer College should be worried that its university dreams could be… Continue reading

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Vandals strike: Artifacts worth $1M gone from central Alberta museum

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Johnny Gaudreau’s goal and assist paces Flames to 5-2 victory over Canucks

Johnny Gaudreau’s goal and assist paces Flames to 5-2 victory over Canucks

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, on Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Tory MP Sloan accuses party of hypocrisy over efforts to have him expelled

Tory MP Sloan accuses party of hypocrisy over efforts to have him expelled

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 file photo Britain's Andy Murray reacts during a press conference following his first round loss to Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. Former world number one Murray's participation at the upcoming Australian Open is in doubt after the Briton tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
Australian Open arrivals hit by 3 COVID-19 positive tests

Australian Open arrivals hit by 3 COVID-19 positive tests

Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner (16) scores on an empty net and takes a hit from Winnipeg Jets defenceman Neal Pionk (4) during third period of action in Toronto on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto Maple Leafs ride dominant second period to down Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Toronto Maple Leafs ride dominant second period to down Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Roman Sadovsky wins the Challenge, his only event of the figure skating season

Roman Sadovsky wins the Challenge, his only event of the figure skating season

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, speaks with International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel during their meeting in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)
IIHF pulls hockey worlds from Belarus, seeks new host

IIHF pulls hockey worlds from Belarus, seeks new host

Former Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy, left, speaks to current head coach Sean McDermott, right, before an NFL football game between the Bills and the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. He's coached in both Kansas City and Buffalo but Levy will firmly be behind the Bills in the AFC championship game Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Adrian Kraus
Former Buffalo and Montreal coach Marv Levy behind Buffalo Bills during playoff march

Former Buffalo and Montreal coach Marv Levy behind Buffalo Bills during playoff march

Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Jalen Saunders (89) is upended after getting hit by Calgary Stampeders defensive back Ciante Evans (0) during first half CFL football action in Hamilton, Ont., on Friday, October 13, 2017. The Ottawa Redblacks have re-signed linebacker Jerod Fernandez, Saunders and running back Timothy Flanders.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Ottawa Redblacks re-sign LB Fernandez, WR Saunders and RB Flanders

Ottawa Redblacks re-sign LB Fernandez, WR Saunders and RB Flanders

Most Read