Dozens of people were also injured in the powerful blast, carried out by suspected Islamic militants, Russian Ministries said in a statement to BosNewsLife.
The attack in Togliatti, about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) southeast of Moscow, exploded during the early morning rush hour of Wednesday, October 31. "Authorities say that the explosion was caused by two kilograms of TNT explosives which were either brought onto the bus by a passenger, hidden under the floor of the bus, or laid in the path of the bus," Russian Ministries told BosNewsLife.
The organization sponsors a 'School Without Walls' training program for 20 potential Christian leaders in Togliatti. None of the students were injured, however the group suggested it underscored the difficulties Christian workers can face in Russian regions torn by violence. The group said it had urged supporters to "pray for the families of the victims and the residents of Togliatti who have been affected by this violent attack" as well as safety for the students enrolled in its 'School Without Walls' program.
"ACT OF TERRORISM"
The governor of the Samara region, Vladimir Artyakov, reportedly said his administration had "reached the conclusion that this was an act of terrorism." This bombing took place one month before parliamentary elections, which follows a similar pattern of pre-election violence in other regions, Russian Ministries said.
It quoted security sources as saying the attack "was carried out by Islamist extremists," although "others suggest that organized crime groups could be behind the blast." The organization said that although this was the first "such attack in the city of Togliatti" such attacks "are much more common in the volatile Northern Caucasus region of Russia where
insurgent violence is a regular occurrence."
A similar bus explosion in the province of Dagestan occurred on October 23, killing one person and wounding five. The violence comes at a difficult time for Russian Ministries, which has been trying to train Christian leaders especially in areas of the Soviet Union where believers are persecuted because of Islamic extremism or autocratic leaders, BosNewsLife monitored.