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Series of blasts strikes eastern Ukrainian city

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-27

At least 14 people were wounded in four separate blasts in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk on Friday, emergency officials said. Police said the blasts were caused by explosive devices placed in rubbish bins.

REUTERS - Four bombs planted in rubbish bins exploded in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk on Friday at short intervals, injuring up to 14 people, authorities said.

President Viktor Yanukovich said the bomb blasts were "a challenge ... to the whole country."

The first blast occurred at a tram stop at 11:50 a.m. (0850 GMT), injuring five people. The second explosion came 30 minutes later next to a cinema, injuring seven people, the Emergencies Ministry said in a statement.

The third blast followed shortly afterwards next to a park, injuring 2 people, it said. It was unclear whether there were any injuries from the fourth explosion which also took place in the downtown area.

Police said the blasts had been caused by explosive devices planted in trash bins. Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko immediately left for Dnipropetrovsk to head an investigation, police said.

"No-one has been detained yet," a police spokesman said.

Authorities offered no immediate explanation of any motive or say who they thought could be behind the bombs.

Dnipropetrovsk, 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Kiev, is one of the former Soviet republic's biggest industrial hubs and was a key centre of the nuclear, arms and space industries in Soviet times.

The city provided a springboard for former President Leonid Kuchma, who was in office from 1994-2005, to rise to power. It is also the birthplace of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Bomb attacks have been rare in the former Soviet republic which will co-host the European football championship in June and July.

But political tension is high because of the detention of Tymoshenko who was jailed for seven years last October for alleged abuse-of-office which she denies.

Her imprisonment has prompted sharp criticism from Western governments which see her trial as political revenge by Yanukovich, who narrowly beat her for the presidency in February 2010.
 

Date created : 2012-04-27

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