Gunman Dmitry Sokolov, who has been blockaded, along with other militants, in a house outside Makhachkala in Dagestan, has acknowledged his role in the recent bomb attack in a bus in Volgograd during negotiations with security forces on Saturday, the National Antiterrorist Committee said in a statement.
"During the negotiations, Sokolov claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks he committed, including the bombing of a bus in Volgograd. He said he had personally assembled the IED [improvised explosive device], which the female terrorist bomber later set off," it said.
A fierce exchange of fire is currently under way between the gunmen and security forces, it said. "An active phase of the special operation is continuing, and the necessary search and investigative operations are being conducted," it said.
The National Antiterrorist Committee pointed out that a woman and a child had been among the people blockaded in the house.
"It was suggested to the gunmen that they release them, lay down their arms and surrender to the authorities. Sokolov's mother was engaged in the negotiations that lasted many hours, and she talked to her son on the phone, but the gunmen refused to go out. As a result, it was possible to take the woman and the child out," the Committee said.
The information on Sokolov's presence in the community of Semender outside Makhachkala was obtained through active operational and investigative measures, the NAC said. "The head of the operational headquarters for Dagestan decided to assign the area counter-terrorist operation status, blockade the area and carry out the necessary regime measures," it said.
A female suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device in a bus in Volgograd on October 21. The attack killed six people and the bomber herself, who was later identified as Naida Asiyalova, and dozens were injured. Investigative authorities supposed at the very start that Sokolov, known to be Asiyalova's partner, could have played some role in the attack.
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