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Russian Teenager 'Self-Detonates' at Historic Convent's Orthodox School

Vitaly Gladyshev / VK

A Russian teenager attempted to blow himself up at an Orthodox school outside Moscow, wounding himself and at least one minor, Russia's Interior Ministry said Monday.

The 18-year-old set off an improvised explosive device at 08:24 a.m. Moscow time at the 14th-century Vladychny Women’s Monastery, the site of the school in the city of Serpukhov less than 100 kilometers south of the Russian capital, the ministry said.

The suspect, who was identified as a graduate of the monastery's Orthodox school, was injured in the blast and hospitalized, the ministry said. 

A 15-year-old teenager was also wounded in the blast, the Interior Ministry said. 

The Moscow region children's rights ombudswoman told Interfax that 10 minors had been injured in addition to the suspect, but that none of them were in life-threatening condition. 

The state-run TASS news agency, citing an unnamed law enforcement source, reported that the suspect is in critical condition.

"He survived, but the explosion tore off his leg," TASS cited its source as saying.

Police evacuated staff and students from the Orthodox school building and ambulances were called to the scene.

TASS reported that the suspect had planned to carry out the attack during the Orthodox school's morning prayers, but set off the explosives outside the school after he was unable to enter. The explosion damaged the school's door, TASS said.

“The suspect is believed to have been motivated by his hatred of the school teachers and nuns,” Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying. The source added that he had been “bullied” during his time as a student.

The RBC news website, citing a student at the school, identified the attacker as Vladislav Struzhenkov. The student described him as “friendly, peaceful and quiet.”

“He was fond of shooting, and sometimes he talked about things like fires, explosions. Once when we spoke, he said: 'My teacher pissed me off, I hate her, I want her to catch on fire.' But that was one time,” the student was quoted as saying.

Russia's Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it has dispatched personnel to the scene and opened a criminal case on illegal circulation of explosives and attempted murder.

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