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Russia identifies 2nd Moscow subway bomber

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Authorities ID second Moscow suspect
  • Reports identify Maryam Sharipova, a graduate of Dagestan State University
  • Reports say she was responsible for the bombing at the Lubyanka station
  • Two female bombers detonated their explosives about 40 minutes apart
  • Authorities identified first bomber as fellow Dagestan native Dzhennet Abdullayeva

Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- Russian investigators have identified the second suicide bomber in last week's fatal Moscow subway attacks as Maryam Sharipova, a 28-year-old schoolteacher from Dagestan, authorities said Tuesday.

Sharipova was born in the village of Balakhani, in Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic that lies beside Chechnya, in southern Russia, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor's Office told CNN. Like Chechnya, Dagestan has been troubled for years by radical Islamic violence.

The committee said it identified Sharipova through forensic medical examinations.

Sharipova and another female bomber, Dzhennet Abdullayeva, detonated their explosives about 40 minutes apart on the morning of March 29. The blasts ripped through the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations in central Moscow, killing 40 people and wounding more than 80. An estimated 500,000 people were riding trains in the capital at the time of the attacks.

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Sharipova triggered a homemade explosive device at Lubyanka subway station, the investigative committee said.

Russian law enforcement bodies are continuing their "investigative and operational search actions to determine and arrest the organizers and masterminds behind the terrorist act," the committee said.

The woman's father, Rasul Magomedov, was flown to Moscow to identify the remains of what was believed to be his daughter, an investigative committee official told CNN on condition of anonymity.

Magomedov's account and forensic analyses left no doubt that the body was that of Sharipova, the official said.

Independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported Sunday in an exclusive article that Magomedov had identified his daughter in a photograph that was published on the Internet last week. The photograph was described as that of a dead unidentified suicide bomber of the Lubyanka metro station. Magomedov was sent the photograph on his mobile phone, the newspaper said.

"My wife and I have immediately recognized our daughter, Maryam," Magomedov told the newspaper in the article, which was reprinted across Russian media. "When my wife had seen our daughter last, she had been wearing that same red scarf that is depicted on the photograph," he said. "We didn't know her whereabouts ..."

Magomedov said he'd seen his daughter for the last time on March 26, while his wife had seen her in the afternoon of March 28, which was less than 24 hours before the deadly bombing.

Several other people who knew Sharipova also recognized her in the photograph, Novaya Gazeta said.

Sharipova -- who, like the other children in her family, was given the last name of her grandfather, Sharipov -- was born into a teachers family.

Her father teaches Russian language and literature at a local school in Balakhani. His wife teaches biology there.

Sharipova attended the same school her parents work in, the newspaper reported. She later graduated from a university in 2005 with a degree in mathematics and another in psychology, the newspaper reported. Recently, she had been teaching computer science at a local school.

"We still can't believe what happened," her father said, according to Novaya Gazeta. "We can't even imagine how she appeared in Moscow."

According to the newspaper, Magomedov described his daughter as "quite pious," but he said she never expressed any radical views.

"I totally rule out that someone might have manipulated her psychologically," he said, noting that she was a certified psychologist, the newspaper reported. "She lived with us, worked as a schoolteacher and led an open life," he said.

A person who knows the Magomedov family very well told the newspaper that Sharipova was a "calm and confident person."

The person, who was not identified, said that no one "ever heard her expressing any extremist opinions or displaying imbalanced behavior."

On Tuesday, Russian state television, citing law enforcement sources, said Sharipova had been the wife of 35-year-old Magomedali Vagabov, a local rebel leader who has been fighting government forces since the 1990s, and who reports directly to Dokku Umarov, the top Chechen rebel, who took responsibility for the bombings.

The investigative committee would not comment on the report.

Russian state television also showed video of Sharipova's village, and spoke to her father.

"When they [officials] called me on the phone to tell that she blew herself up in the Moscow subway, I said it must be complete rubbish," he recalled in an interview.

Last week, the Russian investigative committee identified the first bomber as Abdullayeva, also from Dagestan.

Her precise age wasn't revealed, but the committee said she was born in 1992.

Russian newspapers reported Friday that Abdullayeva -- whose last name has also been cited as Abdurakhmanova -- was the widow of a prominent Dagestani rebel militant leader who was killed by federal forces in late December.

An apparent photograph of Abdullayeva and her late husband, identified as 30-year-old Umalat Magomedov, was published in Russian media. It shows a bearded man with his arm draped over a young-looking teenage girl dressed in traditional Muslim attire. Both are holding guns and looking unsmilingly into the camera.

The circumstances of the photograph, including when it was taken, were not explained. CNN could not confirm the authenticity of the picture.

CNN's Maxim Tkachenko contributed to this report.