MOSCOW -- Two female homicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow's subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 35 people and wounding more than 30, the city's mayor and other officials said.
Emergency Ministry spokeswoman Svetlana Chumikova said 23 people were killed at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB's main successor agency.
A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later. Chumikova said at least 12 were dead there.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said both explosions were believed to have been set off by female suicide bombers as the trains entered the stations. In the first case, officials said the explosion was on the train; there was no immediate information on the location of the second blast.
"The first data that the FSB has given us is that there were two female suicide bombers," Luzhkov told reporters at the Park Kultury site.
Russia's top investigative body also said terrorism was suspected.
The last confirmed terrorist attack in Moscow was in August 2004, when a suicide bomber blew herself up outside a city subway station, killing 10 people.
Responsibility for that blast was claimed by Chechen rebels and suspicion in Monday's explosions is likely to focus on them and other separatist groups in the restive North Caucasus region.
The Moscow subway system is one of the world's busiest, carrying around 7 million passengers on an average workday, and is a key element in running the sprawling and traffic-choked city.
The blasts practically paralyzed movement in the city center as emergency vehicles sped to the stations. Helicopters hovered over the Park Kultury station area, which is near the renowned Gorky Park.
Passengers, many of them in tears, streamed out of the station, one man exclaiming over and over "This is how we live!"