Oksana Aslanova, 26, born in Tyumen region, named as killer in train station massacre.
Russia's interior ministry said it was immediately stepping up security at all the nation's main train stations and airports. Picture: Russian Interior Ministry
At least 16 were killed in the attack on Volgograd railway station in southern Russia just six weeks before the 2014 Winter Olympics. Law enforcement officials named Islamic 'black widow' Oksana Aslanova, 26, as being responsible for the carnage.
While DNA tests had not confirmed this, Aslanova was widely reported as being the perpetrator. She had been on the wanted list for almost two years.
Russian news source Life News published a picture of what it reported was her bloodied head lying amid a pile of debris with her long brown hair spread across the floor. She was reported as having been married to two Islamic militant leaders liquidated by Russian forces in the North Caucasus.
She formerly lived in the town of Raduzhniy in Nizhnevartovsk district of Khanty-Mansiysk region, with population of 43,580.
'Aslanova was a wife of 'General' Validzhanov, who was destroyed,' said a bulletin issued last month expressing concern over her whereabouts, and predicting she could make an attack. 'She went through a training in camps and can become a black widow and take part in preparing terrorist attacks on the territory of Russia', said the Dagestan Interior Ministry.
Initial reports said she had two accomplices in Volgograd. Footage which was flashed around the world showed a huge orange fireball blow out the heavy front doors and windows from the grey stone three-storey Volgograd station.
'A suicide bomber who was approaching a metal detector saw a law enforcement official and, after growing nervous, set off an explosive device," said Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee which opened a probe into a suspected 'act of terror'.
Footage flashed around the world showed a huge orange fireball blow out the heavy front doors and windows from the grey stone three-storey Volgograd station. Picture: youtube
At least 45 were maimed or wounded in the outrage. 'Vladimir Putin ordered ministers and the heads of security agencies to take all measures necessary to establish the causes and circumstances of this act of terror, catching and bringing to justice those who stand behind it', said the Russian president's spokesman. Russia's interior ministry said separately that it was immediately stepping up security at all the nation's main train stations and airports.
'These measures involve a greater police presence and more detailed passenger checks', an interior ministry spokesman told the Interfax news agency.
Female suicide attackers have been deployed by illegal separatist organisations on a number of occasions.
'People were lying on the ground, screaming and calling for help,' witness Alexander Koblyakov told Rossiya-24 TV. 'I helped carry out a police officer whose head and face were covered in blood. He couldn't speak.'
Warlord Doku Umarov in July urged militants in a video posted online in July to use 'maximum force' linked to the Sochi Olympics.
'We can expect more such attacks,' warned said Alexei Filatov, deputy head of the veterans' association of the elite Alfa anti-terrorism unit.
'The threat is greatest now because it is when terrorists can make the biggest impression,' he told Reuters. 'The security measures were beefed up long ago around Sochi, so terrorists will strike instead in these nearby cities like Volgograd'.
Events highlight the scourge of terrorism and the unity of Russians in the face of the cruel attack on children and parents.