A suspected female suicide bomber killed at least 16 people and injured 50 at a Russian railway station on Sunday, officials said. The National Anti-Terrorist Committee said the explosion, which happened at about 1 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) in the city of Volgograd, was an act of terror and that a criminal investigation has been launched. The Committee said preliminary findings after Sunday's blast showed that the suspect was female, but federal security services were still investigating. Sunday's attack is the second deadly attack in Russia over the past three days, and
the third since October and comes as the country prepares to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Andrei Soldatov, a Russian security analyst and investigative journalist, said the attack might have been an attempt to distract authorities from keeping Sochi safe. “There is no reason to hit Volgograd,” he told NBC News. “Now the authorities have to pay extra attention to Volgograd, they will have to split their attention."