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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Minsk blast case may be consolidated with two other investigations

RIA Novosti

02:03 15/04/2011

MINSK, April 15 (RIA Novosti) - Belarusian investigators may consolidate the Minsk metro blast case file with inquiries into the 2005 and 2008 blasts in Belarus, a high-ranking investigator said.

Shortly after a powerful bomb went off at a metro station in Minsk on Monday, killing 12 people and injuring about 200, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko ordered to probe a possible link with other blasts in Belarus, saying they "may constitute two links of the same chain."

"Those cases should be consolidated into one," deputy chief of the investigation department of the Prosecutor General's office, Maxim Voronin, said.

Though Monday's blast was the first blast in the Minsk metro, at least two powerful explosions have been reported during public events in the country in the past five years.

In 2005, a beer can stuffed with explosives was blown up at a discotheque in Vitebsk, leaving 50 people injured. Three years later, at least 55 people were injured when a bomb went off during an independence day concert in Minsk.

Police have already detained five suspects in the metro blast case. Authorities refuse to disclose the identities of the suspects or the motive behind the deadly attack, but Voronin confirmed late on Thursday that the oldest of them was aged 25, and one of the suspects was a woman.

"They were 19 at the moment of the blast in Vitebsk," he said.

First Deputy Interior Minister Oleg Pekarsky said perpetrators of the Minsk blast "wanted to kill as many people, as possible."

The bomb, equal to 5-7 kg of TNT and stuffed with metal objects, was planted under a bench at Oktyabrskaya, the only interchange station of the capital's subway system and the city's busiest. It went off during evening rush hour, when a train stood near the platform.



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