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Putin says attack was terror

The explosion at a supermarket in Russia's second-largest city was a terrorist attack, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, adding that another attack had been thwarted.

At least 13 people were injured Wednesday evening when an improvised explosive device went off at a storage area for customers' bags at the supermarket in St. Petersburg. Investigators said the device contained 200 grams of explosives and was rigged with shrapnel to cause more damage.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Putin made his comment Thursday at an awards ceremony at the Kremlin for troops who took part in Russia's Syria campaign but did not offer any details. He also said another terrorist attack had been thwarted in St. Petersburg but did not elaborate.

Putin has portrayed Russia's operation in Syria as a pre-emptive strike against terrorism at home. He said the threat of attacks at home would have been much worse if Russia had not intervened in Syria.

"What would have happened if those thousands (of terrorists) that I have just spoken about, hundreds of them had come back to us, trained and armed," he said in comments to Russian news agencies.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov would not say what led authorities to declare the attack an act of terrorism, but he said the fact that the bomb was rigged with shrapnel proved it "was a terrorist attack anyway."



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