Terror suspects can be killed 'on the spot', warns Putin

Putin's 2015 decision to intervene in Syria militarily on the side of Bashar al-Assad has made Russia a priority target for the Islamic State group. Photograph:( Others )

AFP Moscow, Russia Dec 29, 2017, 08.16 AM (IST)

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Thursday that armed criminals could be "liquidated on the spot," calling the blast that tore through a Saint Petersburg supermarket and wounded 14 people an "act of terror."

Yesterday, a homemade bomb placed in a locker at the supermarket in northwestern Saint Petersburg, Russia's second city and Putin's hometown, went off sowing panic among customers and wounding 14 people including a pregnant woman.

"As you know, an act of terror took place in Saint Petersburg yesterday," Putin said on Thursday, speaking at a ceremony to award officers who took part in Russia's Syria campaign.

He said he had ordered the nation's security services to "act decisively" and "liquidate bandits on the spot" if armed militants put up resistance.

His spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters later that the Russian leader was referring to all those "who harbour plans to carry out acts of terror in our country."

Putin's 2015 decision to intervene in Syria militarily on the side of Bashar al-Assad has made Russia a priority target for the Islamic State group.

Citing the latest count, officials said a total of 14 people had been wounded in the blast. Six people remained in hospital, they added, noting the wounded would receive financial aid.

The bombing came after the FSB security service said earlier this month it had prevented a terror attack on a key Orthodox cathedral in Saint Petersburg with the help of America's CIA, which led Putin to thank US President Donald Trump.