Russia jails 11 for St Petersburg metro bombing

Shokhista Karimova, accused of involvement in the bombing, is seen inside a defendants' cage.
Shokhista Karimova, accused of involvement in the bombing, is seen inside a defendants' cage.PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - A Russian court jailed 11 people on Tuesday (Dec 10) for plotting a suicide bombing on the St Petersburg metro that killed 15 people and injured scores during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to his home city in 2017.

One man, a Russian national from Kyrgyzstan, was given a life sentence after being found guilty of organising the attack.

The other nine men and one woman, mostly citizens of central Asian ex-Soviet states, received sentences of between 19 and 28 years.

All 11 had denied the allegations against them.

Before detonating himself, the suicide bomber also planted a second bomb in the metro which he planned to detonate remotely, but which malfunctioned and did not go off, the Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Investigative Committee described the men as radical Islamists acting as part of a group founded in Syria in 2013 by a native of Kyrgyzstan named Sirozhidin Mukhtarov.

International warrants have been issued for Mukhtarov's arrest and for that of another group leader, Bobirzhon Makhbubov, the Investigative Committee said.

Russia has experienced bomb attacks carried out by Islamist rebels from Russia's North Caucasus region in the past, although Moscow has largely crushed that insurgency.