Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to fight terrorists until their "total destruction" following two suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd on December 29 and 30 that left 34 people dead, the VOA (Voice of America) website reports today (December 31, 2013).
In his annual New Years address, Putin said that at the country's most trying times, Russia has always been united and consolidated. Russian authorities have deployed more than 5,000 security force personnel in and around Volgograd in the wake of the bombings.
In the December 30 attack, a bomb blast ripped apart a trolleybus, killing 16 people and injuring 30 others. A day earlier, a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the security entrance of the city's main train station in an attack that left 18 dead.
A spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency said today that the bomb in the second explosion was similar to the one used in the first attack, confirming suspicions that they may be linked. The attacks came just weeks before the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, about 650 kilometers southwest of Volgograd. Islamist militants have threatened to attack civilians and disrupt the Winter Games.