Incident Summary:

12/05/2003: At 7:42 AM local time, suicide bomber(s) detonated explosives on the second car of a commuter train approaching Yessentuki station in the Republic of Ingushetia in southern Russia, killing thirty five people instantly and injuring one hundred and seventy. The explosives contained the equivalent of 22 pounds of TNT and were packed with nuts, bolts and barbed wire for maximum damage. The Black Widows claimed resposibility for the attack.




Eastern Europe

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Commuters on train
Nationality of Target Russia
Target Type: Transportation
Name of Entity Unknown
Specific Description The Kislovodsk-Mineralnyye Vody, number 6309 electric train
Nationality of Target Russia
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Suicide (carried bodily by human being)
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Group Sub-name Claimed Responsibility
Chechen Rebels Black Widows, Commander Shamil Basayev Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: E-mail)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 4
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 47 Fatalities / 170 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 47
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 4
Total Number of Injured 170
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
David Filipov, “Suicide Bomber on Russian Train Kills 42,” The Boston Globe, December 6, 2003.
“Russian Official Says Train Bomb Was Packed with Nuts and Bolts,” BBC Monitoring International Reports, December 5, 2003.
Sergei Venyavsky, “Toll in Russian Train Bombing Rises to 45,” Associated Press Worldstream, December 11, 2003