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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

West Condems Execution of Minsk Metro Bombers

RIA Novosti

04:55 19/03/2012 MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - The West condemned the swift execution by Belarus of two men convicted of planting bombs in the Minsk metro, and will speed up the introduction of new sanctions against Minsk, Kommersant daily reported on Monday.

Belarusian news agency Belta reported on Sunday the execution by shooting of two men convicted of the deadly subway bombing in the Belarusian capital last year.

Brussels officials told Kommersant that the European Union’s reaction would be firm. The EU leadership earlier asked Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to suspend the punishment, pledging to restore relations with Minsk if he agreed.

Last November, Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov were convicted of a bomb attack at Minsk subway’s most crowded station on April 11, 2011, which killed 15 people and wounded hundreds of others. Konovalov pleaded guilty, whereas Kovalyov did not acknowledge his guilt as an accomplice but admitted that he failed to report to authorities about the terrorist attack being prepared.

Lukashenko, citing the severity of the crime, refused to pardon the men despite calls by Western governments and rights groups not to carry out the death sentence. Belarus is the only nation in Europe still using capital punishment.

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