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Russia’s security agency detains St. Petersburg supermarket bombing suspect

Russia’s main domestic security agency says it has arrested an individual suspected of organizing and carrying out a bombing that injured 13 people in a Saint Petersburg supermarket this week.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing that tore through the busy supermarket in Russia’s second largest city Wednesday evening.

In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said that the suspect was detained on Saturday, but it did not provide details of the person’s identity or location.

The FSB, however, said that the suspect had organized and carried out the attack on his own.

The agency said it had handed over the person to Russia’s Investigative Committee, the nation’s top investigative agency, “for further investigative procedures.”

Investigators said they had begun questioning the suspect.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the blast as “a terrorist act” after investigators said it was caused by a homemade bomb containing 200 grams of explosives and was rigged with shrapnel to cause maximum damage.

The Russian leader added that he had ordered security agencies to kill terror suspects on the spot if they resisted arrest.

Firefighters and police officers work at the site of a blast in a supermarket in Saint Petersburg, Russia, December 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

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.

The Saint Petersburg bombing came after FSB announced earlier in the month that it had foiled a terror attack on a key Orthodox cathedral in the northwestern city.

Having lost its territorial rule in Iraq and Syria, Daesh has in recent weeks stepped up its terror attacks beyond the Middle East region.

The Russian soil is considered a prime target of Daesh terrorists, who have suffered heavy blows in Syria on the battleground against government forces that are backed by Moscow.

At the request of Damascus, Moscow’s air force has been providing air cover to Syrian army operations since September 2015.

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