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Blast at Belarus Metro Station leaves 12 dead, over 100 injured

 
 
 
 
 
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People gather around the scene where a blast occured in Minsk, capital of Belarus, April 11, 2011.

Twelve people were killed and 126 were wounded in a blast that struck a metro station in the Belarussian capital Minsk. The authorities said the blast is suspected to be a terrorist act.

“126 victims were hospitalized, 22 of them – in serious condition, 30 – are moderately wounded,” said Belarussian Health Minister Vasyliy Zharko. Among the victims – two Russians, their conditions are satisfactory.

The explosion hit Minsk’s Oktyabrskaya station, a key transit point in the city’s subway system, at an after-work rush hour.

The cause of the explosion was still unknown, but President Alexander Lukashenko said he did not rule out the possibility of outside forces plotting behind it.

Initial probes showed that the blast ripped through the second compartment of a train packed with commuters, filling it with thick smoke, smashing glasses and crumbling fixtures inside the subway station.

Badly wounded people on stretchers were carried out of the station while dozens of the wounded were treated by medics on the spot and others were rushed to local hospitals, witnesses said.

The president arrived at the scene shortly after the blast, extending condolences to the victims and laid flowers to pay tribute to those killed.

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