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Belarus subway bomb kills at least 11, wounds more than 100 in Minsk

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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A terrorist bomb ripped through a commuter-packed escalator deep inside a Belarus subway station Monday, killing at least 11 people.

More than 100 people were hurt in the blast in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, the state news agency said.

The Russian news agency RIA Novosti said the bomb went off just before 6 p.m. - the height of rush hour - just as people were rushing to catch two trains arriving in the station.

Amateur video posted online showed bleeding straphangers stumbling out of the Oktybarskaya station into the street as smoke poured from the marble-lined tunnels.

A middle-aged woman with shopping bags sat propped against a wall of the station, the bottoms of her legs a mass of blood and shattered bone. Unhurt commuters were tending to her.

The blast destroyed part of the station, which has steps leading directly to the residence and main office of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

He arrived at the scene unhurt, declared he was taking personal control of the investigation and called for a moment of silence.

No motive was immediately apparent.

Lukashenko was re-elected to a controversial fourth term in December, prompting mass protests against what many called an unfair election.

The government launched a violent crackdown, detaining more than 600 people - including most of the candidates who had stood against Lukashenko.

Several of those candidates remain behind bars awaiting upcoming trials for formenting unrest.

Minsk has a population of 1.8 million.

In 2008, 50 people were injured there when a bomb exploded at a concert, one day after Lukashenko warned that America was urging his opposition to carry out explosions (Source)
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