Suicide bomber kills 15 in Russia's south


Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian officials now say the suicide bomber who struck a busy railway station in southern Russia today could have been a man.

The blast killed at least 15 people along with the bomber.

Officials earlier said the attacker appear to have been a woman. Female suicide bombers have mounted numerous attacks in Russia. Many have been widows or sisters of rebels and are often referred to as "black widows."

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it comes several months after a Chechen rebel leader (Doku Umarov) called for new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Olympic Games coming up in February in Sochi.

Suicide bombings in Russia in recent years have been contained mostly to the North Caucasus, the center of an insurgency seeking an Islamist state in the region. The city of Volgograd, where today's attack took place, has not been a typical target. But it is a transportation hub and has now been struck twice in two months.

Volgograd is about 400 miles north of Sochi, the Black Sea resort preparing to host the Olympics.