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A nanny accused of decapitating a child in her care and taking the severed head to a Moscow metro station has claimed in court that "Allah ordered" her to do the killing as prosecutors said they believe she didn't act alone. Gulchehra Bobokulova, a 38-year-old from Uzbekistan, brought panic to the streets of the Russian capital on 29 January as she pulled a little girl's head from a bag and started shouting Islamic slogans.

On 2 March the woman appeared before a Moscow court. She didn't objected to her arrest and saying she accepted her guilt and was remanded into custody. Earlier, prosecutors told judges they were looking for possible accomplices who incited her to commit the gruesome slaying, although no arrest has been made.

Bobokulova, a mother of three sons, allegedly killed a four-year-old she was looking after before setting the girl's family flat on fire. She then headed to the Oktyabrskoye Pole station in north-west Moscow where she started yelling "I am a terrorist, I want your death," while brandishing the child's head.

However no links to Islamist group have since emerged. Officials have said she is mentally unstable, with reports suggesting the woman suffers from schizophrenia, a condition that is said to have deteriorated after her marriage broke down.

Sources close to the investigation told Interfax news agency Bobokulova was diagnosed with schizophrenia as early as 1999 when she was living in her native Uzbekistan, but concealed the mental disorder as she moved to Russia about five years ago. Meanwhile Muscovites shocked by the incident have been paying tribute to its child victim, laying flowers and toys outside the entrance to the Oktyabrskoye Pole station.

Oktyabrskoye Pole station Moscow
Flowers, toys and other items are placed to commemorate recently murdered child at the entrance to the Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in Moscow Reuters