MOSCOW — At least 14 people were killed and 43 injured in a suicide bombing Sunday afternoon at the railway station in Volgograd, an industrial city in southern Russia, officials said.
Shortly after 1 p.m. local time, a woman approached a metal detector frame at the railway station's entrance, where she stopped and detonated the explosives after a police officer started walking toward her, authorities said.
"When the suicide bomber saw the metal detector frame and saw the policemen on duty as she entered the railway station, she got nervous and her behavior seemed suspicious to the policemen," Interior Ministry spokesman Andrei Pilipchuk told Rossiya-24, a news television network. "[Officer] Dmitry Makovkin started in her direction at a fast pace and at that moment the explosion rang."
Makovkin died on the spot and six other police officers were injured, Pilipchuk said.
The station was crowded with passengers. If the bomber had entered the main hall, the number of casualties would have been much higher.
"I was putting my [computer] notebook in the scanner when I head a loud boom from behind and I fell down on the floor," Dmitry Lobachev, an injured passenger, told Rossiya-24.
The power of the explosion was equal to 10 kilos [about 22 pounds] of TNT, officials said.
Volgograd governor Sergei Bazhenov told Rossiya-24 that of those injured, two were in critical condition.
Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, said that clinics in the city were ready to receive the injured and that an Emergency Ministry plane was on its way to pick them up.
No group has as yet claimed responsibility.
Volgograd suffered a similar attack in October when a female bomber struck on a passenger bus, killing six and injuring 33 people.
The Volgograd region is close both to the troubled North Caucasus region and to the site of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, which are set to begin Feb. 7.
Early in July, Chechen Islamist resistance leader Doku Umarov, responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in Russia, said his fighters will use "maximum force" to prevent the Olympics, which he called "satanic games held on the bones of our ancestors."