Russia dismisses Islamic State responsibility claim for deadly blast

MOSCOW: Russian investigators on Friday dismissed the veracity of a claim by the Islamic State militant group that it was responsible for a deadly apartment building explosion in December that killed 39 people.

The claim was made in the Al Naba newspaper on Thursday evening and said IS militants had been behind the deadly explosion in the city of Magnitogorsk at the end of December. No proof was provided to back the assertion.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement that the claim should not be trusted and said investigators were looking at all possible causes of the blast.

Their primary theory was that a gas leak was to blame, the statement said.

There have been several similar incidents in Russia in recent years due to ageing infrastructure and poor safety regulations surrounding gas usage.

In 2015, at least five people were killed when a gas explosion damaged an apartment building in the southern Russian city of Volgograd.