A bombing attack in Russia’s St. Petersburg on Wednesday is now being characterized as an act of terrorism by government officials, offering Vladimir Putin an opportunity to further emphasize his “tough on terror” stance as he heads into another election.
The attack, which took place on Wednesday afternoon, saw an improvised explosive device detonated inside a grocery store, injuring 13 people but claiming no lives. Reports out of the region indicate that the explosive device was hidden in a locker inside the store, and comprised of around 200 grams (7 ounces) of TNT, as well as bolts intended to act as shrapnel. Local law enforcement declined to characterize the incident as terror-related on Wednesday, but Putin’s Thursday statements clearly indicate that it is now being considered a terror attack. He also took the opportunity to characterize his enthusiasm for bringing the suspects to justice, telling the media that he’s instructed the FSB (the successor to the Russian KGB) to “take no prisoners” in the investigation.