Monday, April 11, 2011

Death toll increases explosion in Minsk

An explosion of unknown origin caused eleven dead and more than a hundred injured in the subway in Minsk, capital of Belarus, a country so far immune to terrorist attacks. The sources of the security forces quoted by Interfax news agency said the main hypotheses currently shuffled as the cause of the explosion is a terrorist.

"The signals and the nature of the injuries received by victims speaks specifically of an attack," said one source. "There may have been able to bring us this 'gift' from the outside. But we must look inside. The guilty must be found," said the president, Aleksandr Lukashenko, after visiting the blast site to lay a bouquet of flowers.

Lukashenko re-elected last December in a disputed election, ordered security forces to review all the arsenals and ammunition depots, Russian agencies reported. He appointed the head of State Security Committee (KGB) directly responsible for the criminal investigation of the explosion, which occurred at rush hour in the central station "Oktiábraskaya", which is near the presidential residence.

The Belarusian leader, considered the last dictator in Europe, called to unmask whom is "throwing ground tranquility and stability of the country." "NNOS have launched a serious challenge. We must give an appropriate response. Who are they? I ask them to hurry when responding to this question, "he said.

Lukashenko ordered to accept the assistance offered by the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, while tightened security throughout the country." I heard a sound like when open a bottle of champagne. So the air jumped the windows of the car and started dating a lot of smoke. We were scared because we thought we would choke, "said a witness told the Russian news agency Interfax.

Half a hundred injured were hospitalized, 22 of gravity, while the rest were treated by emergency teams on the same street, the agency Belarusian official Belta. The victims had burns and wounds in the legs, common in bomb blast cases. The shock wave was felt in the neighboring stations, as other witnesses cited by Interfax.

For this reason, according to chief urgent care clinic Minsk, Viktor Sirenko, several of the wounded was amputated hands, arms or legs. The explosion occurred in the lobby of the station "Oktiábraskaya" shortly before 18:00 local time (15: 00 GMT), when their platforms were two trains full of passengers.

According to eyewitnesses, several people were victims of sudden collapse of the escalator leading to the street, sparking panic among the passengers, and also put out the lamps that illuminate the station. The station is one of the busiest in the Belarusian capital as it connects the official buildings and the headquarters of the leading industrial city neighborhoods bedroom.

Many travelers had to leave the subway on their own feet, after which he attended in the street medical teams from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Belarus. A ministry spokesman denied that the Metropolitan building had collapsed, but witnesses insisted that part of the station collapsed.

Belarus, with 9.4 million inhabitants, is one of the most stable and secure countries in the region, largely because of its security forces, the only ones that still have the Soviet acronym, KGB. On March 1 began the trials of 42 participants in the riots that erupted after the close of polling in the presidential election Dec.

19 and resulted in clashes between opponents and the police. After the violent suppression of the opposition Belarusian security forces, on 31 January the European Union adopted sanctions against the regime of Lukashenko, in power since 1994.

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