- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to completely obliterate terrorists from the region in his first public comments on the recent suicide bombing attacks in the southern city of Volgograd.

Specifically, he said he would fight “terrorists until their complete annihilation” was achieved, BBC reported.

“We bow our heads in front of the victims of the terrible acts of terror,” Mr. Putin said during his New Year address in Khabarovsk. “We will fiercely and consistently continue the fight against terrorist until their complete annihilation.”

Mr. Putin made the comments a day after the second of two suicide attacks on the city — one perpetrated by a female bomber and the other by a male — that left 34 dead and more than 60 injured. He offered the remarks as the country mourned the burial of a police officer who happened to be patrolling at the nearby transportation station.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. But Russian investigators believe that the two incidents — at a railway station on Sunday and at a bus trolley on Monday — are related.

Authorities said the bombings mirror attacks carried out by Islamist militants who generally operate in the North Caucasus, BBC reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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