Friday, July 4, 2008
MINSK (AFP) – A bomb packed with nuts and bolts injured up to 50 young revellers on Friday at a huge outdoor concert in the Belarussian capital Minsk attended by President Alexander Lukashenko, officials said.
Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov said a second explosive device that failed to detonate had also been found at the same venue. Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, was at the concert at the time of the blast and visited the site within a few minutes, his press office said. (Article continues below)
There was no immediate indication of who was responsible for the attack at the Independence Day concert, which occurred at 00:30 am (2130 GMT Thursday).
“An act of hooliganism took place at a gala concert in Minsk tonight. There was an explosion of an undetermined, apparently home-made device…. More than two dozen people have been injured,” Minsk police said in a statement.
Naumov was quoted by Belarussian news agency Belta as saying around 40 people had been hurt and that three of them were in intensive care. The health ministry said in a statement that 40 people remained in hospital and six had been discharged.
Naumov also revealed that a second explosive device had been found and would help investigators in their inquiries on the bomb that detonated.
There were tens of thousands of people at the concert, mostly young people. The injured were taken to hospital in ambulances as police picked through the nuts and bolts that the bomb threw out.
“I felt a shockwave and suddenly blood started coming out of my leg. A bolt had gone into my leg. There weren’t enough ambulances and my relatives had to take me to hospital in their car,” Olga, 23 told AFP from her hospital bed.
Yelena Melnik, 28, added: “I remember that I wanted to make a call on my mobile phone and suddenly the phone flew out of my hand. I felt a shock but no pain…. The doctors had to take nuts out of my knee.”