Wrecked metro train in St Petersburg, 3 Apr 17Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

Russian investigators said they found the suspect’s remains in the wrecked carriage

A military court in the Russian city of St Petersburg has convicted 11 people of organising a bomb attack there that left 15 people dead.

The device went off in April 2017 on a train that had just left an underground station. Many of the dead and wounded were students.

One of the accused was jailed for life while the other 10 were given jail terms ranging from 19 to 28 years.

All 11 denied the charges, and three claimed they were tortured in custody.

Akbarzhon Jalilov, a 22-year-old Russian citizen originally from Kyrgyzstan, was identified as the suicide bomber. Investigators said he had ties with radical Islamists and had planted a second bomb that did not explode.

The other suspects, also from Central Asia, were later detained. Security services said one of them, Abror Azimov, had trained Jalilov before the attack.

Azimov was given a life sentence and fined by the military court on Tuesday.

The other defendants were accused of acting as Jalilov’s accomplices. Azimov’s brother, Akram, was jailed for 28 years.

The only woman among the defendants, 47-year-old Uzbek fruit-seller Shokhista Karimova, was given 20 years in jail. She was living in Moscow at the time of the attack.

When the trial began in April she declared her innocence, claiming Russia’s FSB security service had planted a grenade and explosives at her home. After the verdict, Karimova shouted angrily from the cage where the defendants were being held.

After the attack, a group reportedly linked to the al-Qaeda Islamist militant group was said to have claimed it was behind the bombing.

St Petersburg, Russia’s second city, was targeted again in December 2018 when explosives went off near a supermarket checkout. Eighteen people were wounded and a suspect linked to a nationalist group was later arrested.



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