Three arrested over Russian metro bombing

Mourners remember the victims of an explosion in Saint Petersburg which killed at least 14 people.
Mourners remember the victims of an explosion in Saint Petersburg which killed at least 14 people. Source: EPA

Several people have been arrested in St Petersburg accused of having links to the suicide bomber who killed 13 other people on the city's metro.

Russian investigators have arrested several people suspected of links to a suicide bomber accused of attacking the city's subway and found elements of an explosive device in the apartment where they lived.

The Investigative Committee said that the suspects are residents of the former Soviet Central Asia region like the bomber, 22-year-old Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, a native of Kyrgyzstan.

The impoverished, predominantly Muslim countries in Central Asia are seen as fertile ground for Islamic extremists, and thousands of their residents are believed to have joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The committee, the nation's top criminal investigation agency, said investigators also found objects that would help advance the probe during a search of the home on St Petersburg's eastern outskirts.

Russian news agencies reported that law enforcement agencies arrested three people.

The building's residents had been evacuated before explosives experts went in to check the site. Konstantin Serov, the chief administrator in the city district where the building is located, told Russian news agencies that police deactivated an explosive device at the apartment.

Police in the city are on high alert following Monday's explosion that killed the attacker and 13 other people and wounded some 55.

Thursday's arrest came a day after law enforcement agencies detained eight Central Asian migrants suspected of acting as recruiters for the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda's Syria branch. The investigators found no immediate evidence of their involvement in the subway attack.

Source: AAP