Moscow Domodedovo blast kills at least 35; world leaders condemn terrorist attack

An explosion that occurred at Moscow Domodedovo Airport around 4:30 p.m. local time Monday is believed to have killed at least 35 people and injured dozens of others. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in televised remarks that evidence points to "a terror attack" at Russia's busiest airport, while US President Barack Obama condemned what he called an "outrageous act of terrorism."

The blast detonated inside DME's international arrivals hall, reportedly just outside customs clearance, where crowds were gathered awaiting arriving passengers who had claimed bags from flights arriving from around the world. Medvedev said he was forming a "task force" to immediately begin investigating "while the trail is still warm." He said a "special [security] regime" would be put in place at all Russian airports and other "large transport facilities," but did not specify details.

Even as first responders tended to the dead and wounded in the smoky DME arrivals hall, there appeared to be consensus that the explosion was caused by terrorism. Russian media widely reported that a suicide bomber was responsible, saying the explosion emitted shrapnel that added to the carnage.

President Obama issued a statement in which he described the explosion as a "premeditated attack against innocent civilians." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it a "deplorable and unjustifiable act of violence against innocents." French President Nicholas Sarkozy said it was a "barbaric and cowardly terrorist act." The blast appears to be the second major act of terrorism in the Moscow region in less than a year; the city's subway system was attacked last March by suicide bombings that left 40 dead.

It is unclear how airport security worldwide will be affected by the DME explosion, which occurred in a crowded area of the airport that can be accessed without passing through a security checkpoint. Minneapolis-St. Paul International announced that it was increasing the police presence around the airport, particularly on the curbs outside its terminals and at the airport perimeter; it said it had not been asked to do so by the US government.

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