Putin to Security Forces: 'Liquidate' Terror Suspects
After St. Petersburg explosion, Putin tells agents to 'take no prisoners' if suspects threaten their lives
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2017 4:00 PM CST
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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the State Council in the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday.   (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin is running for re-election as Russia's president, and one thing he apparently wants to make clear to citizens is his stance on terrorism. He got that chance Thursday while commenting on Wednesday's supermarket explosion in St. Petersburg, which injured at least a dozen people and has been deemed a terror attack by Putin, ABC News reports. Per the New York Times, Putin said that while security agents should work "within the limits of the law," he has given the go-ahead to those agents to "act decisively" and "take no prisoners" during such attacks and to "liquidate the bandits on the spot" if they resist arrest or otherwise put agents' "lives or health" at risk. Bloomberg reports Putin's remarks came during a televised awards ceremony with Russian military troops who battled in Syria.

Putin's strong talk is reminiscent of how he spoke about Chechen terorrists before his first presidential run in 2000, when he noted he would "rub them out in the outhouse," per the Times. Those comments apparently helped Putin in the polls back then, though this time around it may be a moot point: Russian election officials have barred his most serious challenger, Alexei Navalny, from running against him. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the St. Petersburg bombing, and Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov isn't saying what's led Putin to declare it a terror attack. Putin had phoned President Trump earlier this month to thank him for a CIA tip that reportedly prevented other terror attacks in St. Petersburg.

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