Call for tougher action on Russian militants

A leading prelate in the Russian Orthodox Church has called for tougher action against militants who launched two deadly suicide bombings in the country.

In the wake of the blasts in the southern city of Volgograd, which claimed 34 lives, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, equated radical Islamic messages with Nazism and called for legislators to hold the same perspective in dealing with fundamentalists.

“If the circulation of Nazi ideological clichés has been strictly limited or banned in certain cases, why not apply the same scheme to the radical interpretation of Islam rejected by most Muslims themselves?” he said.

Commentators have speculated that the Volgograd bombings are part of a drive by militants to bring attention to their desire to establish an Islamic state in North Caucasus, a region close to Volgograd.

In October, a female suicide bomber attacked a bus in the city, killing six.

Cautioning against a temptation to dismiss the attackers as rogue militants, Archpriest Chaplin said: “If we ignore the problem, it can very easily bury us in five or seven years.”