Russian Teenager Blows Himself Up at Women's Monastery South of Moscow; Seven Injured

The Russian Interior Ministry, on Monday, said that a teenage boy "blew himself up" at the Vladychny Women's Monastery in southern part of Moscow. The boy died in the explosion, which also injured a youngster. The explosion reportedly tore off the suspect's leg. CCTV footage shows the bomber roaming in the lobby of the building, with his right hand inside a bag that he was holding with his left hand. A senior official of Russia's Anti-Terrorist Committee said that the teenager had removed the bomb from his bag, and the bomb had gone off in his hands almost immediately.

The ministry said in a statement that the 18-year-old detonated an improvised explosive device at 8:24am (local time) at the monastery, founded in the 14th Century, in Serpukhov, 100km south of the Russian capital. According to the statement, the suspect was a former student of the monastery's Orthodox School. However, his motive still remains unknown.

Scene after gas explosion in Sicily
Scene after gas explosion in Sicily Screen grab - via Reuters

The Russian media reported that the boy died due to blood loss, while a 15-year-old boy was admitted to a hospital with serious injuries. The explosion might also injure seven others, who were at the monastery at the time of explosion. Later, the police reached the spot, and evacuated the Orthodox School's staff and kids. The school has also been devastated by the explosion. The Russian media have quoted an unnamed source as saying, "The suspect is believed to have been motivated by his hate of school teachers and nuns." The source also said that the suspect had been "bullied" by his classmates during his student days.

According to British media reports, Mikhail Zhlobitsky is the suspect, who was a student at a local technical college. His grandmother told the press that she failed to understand why Zhlobitsky blew himself up. "He doesn't drink or smoke, and he doesn't swear. He doesn't play truant - he always attends college. I've no idea what happened," stressed the grandmother.

Fire at a Russian gunpowder factory
Fire at a Russian gunpowder factory on Friday in the south east of the Moscow resulted in the death of fifteen people Twitter

Meanwhile, the interior ministry is yet to confirm whether the IED explosion was a terrorist act. The Russian Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, sent personnel to the scene, and also opened a criminal case on illegal circulation of explosives and attempted murder. Olga Vradiy, the Moscow Region spokesperson for the Investigative Committee, said: "On December 13, an unknown person detonated an explosive device on the territory of a nunnery in Serpukhov. Investigators and forensic experts immediately went to the scene." The Russian officials have already conducted a search operation at the bomber's flat, and talked to his relatives and friends in order to establish whether he was a member of any banned militant outfit.

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