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Moscow mourns metro bomb victims

People leave flowers for victims of a bomb attack at Park Kultury metro station in Moscow.
People leave flowers for victims of a bomb attack at Park Kultury metro station in Moscow. Reuters

Russia declared a day of mourning on Tuesday for the 39 people killed in a double suicide bomb attack on Moscow's metro on Monday. Authorities continue to hunt for clues to the identity and ideology of the two female bombers, as well as the two women and one man suspected to have accompanied them.

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As well as the 39 fatalities, at least 83 people were wounded in the attacks.

Grieving Russians continued to add to huge piles of flowers underneath memorial plaques at the Lubyanka and Park Kultury metro stations in central Moscow, where the bombers struck within half an hour of each other on Monday.

The Russian Orthodox Church held a vigil for the victims at Moscow's largest cathedral, flags at government buildings flew at half mast and television channels cancelled entertainment progammes.

Meanwhile the investigation into Moscow's deadliest terrorist attacks since 2004 continues.

Police are still searching for the bombers' three suspected accomplices after identifying them through surveillance footage, according to security sources.

The bombers' bodies were not entirely destroyed in the blasts, leading to hopes that investigators will be able to identify their faces.

The Life.ru news website published grainy photographs of what it said were the severed heads of the two bombers, in which their features are clearly visible.

Additional police were seen in and around Moscow metro stations on Tuesday morning, while Russia's state railroad firm company RZD said it had stepped up security and instructed staff to be more watchful, and state hydro-electric operator RusHydro said it raised security at dams.

President Dmitry Medvedev has pledged to "find and wipe out" those behind the blasts, and to introduce new laws to prevent further terrorist attacks.

"We need to focus our attention on certain aspects of improving legislation aimed at preventing terrorist acts, including on the efficient work of various agencies," Medvedev said on Tuesday.

Western leaders also condemned the attacks.

"When Moscow is attacked, we are all attacked," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who compared the blasts to the 2001 attacks on New York's Twin Towers.

US President Barack Obama vowed Washington would "help bring to justice those who undertook this attack" while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called terrorism a "common enemy".

No group has so far claimed responsibility. But the Caucasus Emirate group, said to be behind a November train bombing that killed 28 people, had recently threatened to attack Moscow.

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