0758 GMT February 16, 2019
The Takfiri outfit said in a Friday statement published by its propaganda outlet, Amaq, that a Daesh-linked group had been behind the bombing, tore through the busy supermarket in Russia’s second largest city Wednesday evening, presstv.com reported.
The blast sowed panic among shoppers and left 14 people wounded, including a pregnant woman.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the blast a ‘a terrorist act’ on Thursday after investigators said it was caused by a homemade bomb containing 200 grams of explosives and rigged with shrapnel to cause maximum damage.
Moreover, Putin officially approved a legislative bill on Friday that toughens punishment for the recruitment of terrorists.
The law, which passed both houses of the Russian Parliament earlier this month, immediately raises the maximum sentence for the recruitment and financing of terrorists from 10 years to life.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Wednesday bomb blast in Saint Petersburg was ‘a terrorist act.’
Having lost its territorial rule in Iraq and Syria, Daesh has in recent weeks stepped its terror attacks beyond the Middle East region.
The Russian soil is considered a prime target of Daesh terrorists, who have taken heavy blows in Syria on the battleground against the Moscow-backed national army.
At the request of Damascus, Moscow’s air force has been providing air cover to Syrian army operations since 2015.
The Saint Petersburg bombing came after Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced earlier in the month that it had foiled a terror attack on a key Orthodox cathedral in the northwestern city.
Investigators work at the site of a blast in a supermarket in Saint Petersburg on December 27, 2017. (AFP)
FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov has further stated that Russia remains on alert for the potential return of terrorists from Syria ahead of the World Cup football competitions next June and the country’s presidential polls next March.
Earlier this month, Bortnikov said that at least 4,500 Russians had left the country to fight along local Daesh-linked terrorists in the Middle East, North Africa and other regions.
This is while Russia has also fought two wars with separatists in Chechnya over the past 20 years, leading Daesh-linked militants from the North Caucasus to frequently target Russians through terror bombings and other attacks.
The region is now governed by Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov, a former militant who is now loyal to the Russian government.
The security situation in the region, however, remains volatile.