Metro Opens High-Tech Checkpoint

The first Moscow metro station was fitted this week with a checkpoint for suspicious passengers, though it remains unclear when it will be operational or when more will be installed, news reports said Thursday.

The checkpoint, complete with a metal detector and a luggage screening system, is near the exit from the downtown Okhotny Ryad metro station leading to Teatralnaya Ploshchad, RIA-Novosti reported. The equipment was delivered Tuesday and has not been activated, a metro policeman told the news agency.

Only “suspicious characters” will be asked to pass through the checkpoint, another patrol policeman told Noviye Izvestia newspaper.

Checkpoints need to be set up on all stations to be effective, security expert Alexander Ivanchenko told the newspaper. City or metro authorities did not comment Thursday on whether more would be installed, but the idea was discussed in the wake of twin metro bombings in March that left 40 dead. The suicide attacks were carried out by widows of Islamist militants.

A more recent wave of metro violence saw dozens of nationalist youth chasing North Caucasus natives in trains and downtown stations after a rally on Manezh Square that ended in clashes with riot police Dec. 11.

The Prosecutor General's Office forwarded to court on Thursday a case against siblings Apti and Aishi Magmadov, who are accused of convincing a woman to stage a suicide attack against the Russian military. The alleged suicide bomber, Egle Kusaite, a Lithuanian, was detained last year before she could carry out the attack.

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