In Dagestan, the center of the insurgency, bombings and shootings occur almost daily. Most of them target law enforcement officers, not civilians. The Tsarnaev brothers, accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings, have roots in Dagestan and Chechnya.
Rasul Temirbekov, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee’s branch in Dagestan, said the suspected bomber was married to an ethnic Russian, Dmitry Sokolov, whom she had met while both were university students in Moscow.
She encouraged him to become a rebel, and he quickly gained a reputation as an expert in explosives, Temirbekov said. Sokolov, whose nom de guerre is Abdul Jabbar, has been on the run.
Temirbekov said that the suspected suicide bomber had a fatal bone illness.
Video broadcast on state Rossiya television showed that yesterday’s explosion occurred as the bus was moving in the far right lane of a divided six-lane road. The video, taken from a vehicle traveling behind the bus, showed a burst of flame and gray smoke. Fragments of what appeared to be window frames and other parts of the bus were left scattered across the road.
When the bus came to a stop, the video showed many passengers jumping out.
Markin said seven people died, including the suicide bomber, and 33 asked for medical assistance, 28 of whom were hospitalized. Emergency officials said about 40 people were on the bus.
The local government yesterday placed security forces in the Volgograd region on high alert for 15 days.