A man detained on Thursday in central Moscow with an explosive device in his car is a member of a militant gang operating in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, a Moscow police spokesman said.
The improvised explosive device, discovered in a Mercedes car stopped by police on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, a road used daily by Kremlin officials, had the power of 400 grams of TNT and was stuffed with nails and other destructive elements. A gun was also seized from the car.
The driver of the car was identified as Magomed A., born in 1967, police spokesman Viktor Biryukov said. Police were following the car and made the decision to detain the man after he moved towards the city center, he said.
A police source earlier said the detainee was Magomed Aliyev, a resident of Russia’s republic of Kalmykia, which borders Dagestan.
A criminal case has been opened for the illegal manufacture and transportation of weapons, ammunition and explosive devices, Biryukov said, adding that a Moscow court would make a decision on pre-trial restrictions to be applied to the detainee later on Thursday.
In a separate incident on Thursday, an explosive device with the strength of 200 grams of TNT was discovered in a car stopped in southeast Moscow’s Ryazansky Prospekt.
The discoveries came 10 days after Moscow marked the first anniversary of twin suicide bomb attacks on the city’s metro and less than three months after a suicide bomber killed 37 at an international airport outside the capital.
Following the attack at Domodedovo Airport, police were ordered to tighten security at public transport facilities across the city. State security forces also continue battling Islamist militants in the volatile North Caucasus.
MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti)