The Islamic State (IS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the apartment building blast in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk, according to SITE Intelligence Group.

SITE Intelligence Group says that as an “exclusive” in issue 165 of its weekly newspaper, al-Naba, IS terror group claimed credit for the apartment building blast and subsequent bus bombing in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk, according to the TV Channel Dozhd.  

Recall, an apartment block in Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, partially collapsed on December 31, 2018, at approximately 6:02 a.m. local time.  The collapse reportedly killed at least 39 people and injured 17 others. The cause of the collapse is believed to have been a gas explosion.

The 10-story high-rise apartment block, on the city's Karl Marx Avenue, built in 1973, holds 623 units, being a type 1-439A building with 12 staircases.  The collapse took place on the 7th staircase, which destroyed or damaged 48 units, which together housed 110 people, of whom 95 were believed to have been in the building at the time of the collapse.

Meanwhile, Russian media reports said on January 2 that at least three people were killed in a minibus explosion in Magnitogorsk on January 1.  

Citing the Chelyabinsk region governor’s office, Interfax reported on January 1 that three people died after a minibus caught on fire not far from the apartment block.  Regional police told the news agency that “faulty gas equipment” inside the vehicle caused the deadly explosion.

The online military magazine, Defence Blog, reported on January 2 that Russian security forces began hunting for terror cells after deadly explosion in Magnitogorsk.

Local residents report an increase in security forces activity after deadly Russia explosion in Magnitogorsk and that police and special forces are looking for terror cells believed to have been involved in the apartment bloc explosion, according to Defence Blog.

Defence Blog says that and “” with reference to unnamed sources reported that possible traces of explosives were found at the site and that the blast that caused the collapse could have been a terrorist act.  And bus explosion is a special operation to kill suspected terrorists.