Chechen separatists have claimed responsibility for two explosions that rocked subway stations in Moscow on Monday morning, killing at least 38 people and injuring scores more.
The claim made on a Web site associated with the breakaway group was echoed by Russian officials at the blast sites, CNN reported
"Our preliminary assessment is that this act of terror was committed by a terrorist group from the North Caucuses region," said Alexander Bortnikov of the Federal Security Service. "We consider this the most likely scenario, based on investigations conducted at the site of the blast."
President Obama issued a statement condemning "these outrageous acts" and offering condolences to the Russian people for "the terrible loss of life and injuries."
The attacks were believed to have been carried out by female suicide bombers at the height of the morning rush hour. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to "carry out uncompromising operations against terrorists to the end," The Washington Post reported
An estimated half-million people were believed to be using the subway system throughout the capital at the time of the attacks.
Chechnya, located between the Black and Caspian seas, has struggled for independence from Russia since 1991. Thousands of Chechens have been killed and many more displaced in the ongoing conflict with Russian authorities.