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Putin, Medvedev at Odds Over Moscow Airport Terrorism Probe

Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir PutinFeb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said it is "inadmissible" to declare that the Jan. 24 terrorist attack on Moscow's busiest airport is solved, shortly after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said it had been.

"I consider it utterly inadmissible for anyone to announce that a crime has been solved before the investigation is complete, indictments are drawn up and sent to court and a verdict is handed down and comes into force," Medvedev said in televised comments today. "This crime isn't solved, but there has been progress."

Earlier today, journalists at state-run Channel One television asked Putin if investigators had any leads in the case. "Not leads," Putin said. "You could say that the case has been solved by and large."

Medvedev has blamed lax security for the suicide bombing at Domodedovo Airport that killed 35 people. Putin said a day after the attack that he had "no doubt" the crime would be solved and that "vengeance" against the organizers was "inevitable."

The blast in the arrival hall of the largest air hub in eastern Europe was the second major attack on the Russian capital in less than a year. Forty people died in twin suicide subway bombings during the morning rush hour last March. Doku Umarov, a militant from the southern Russian region of Chechnya, where government forces fought two wars against separatists between 1994 and 2000, claimed responsibility for those attacks.

Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, told Medvedev in a meeting today that "several people with information" about the attack had been detained. Accomplices of the bomber have been identified and are being sought by law enforcement officials, Bortnikov said.

The security chief said the bomber had also been identified, though he gave only his age, 20, and region of origin, the mostly Muslim North Caucasus.

Originally appeared at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-03/putin-medvedev-at-odds-over-moscow-airport-terrorism-probe.html

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