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Dozens of Concertgoers Injured in Minsk Bombing

Independence day celebrations in Belarus were brought to a halt by an explosion that injured 50 people in Minsk.

People receive first aid treatment after an explosion in downtown Minsk

The explosion coincided with independence day celebrations

The explosion, which witnesses said was caused by a home-made bomb, went off shortly after midnight on July 4 in the middle of a crowd gathered at an outdoor concert in the center of Minsk.

"There are a few severely injured, but no dead," Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov told Russia's Interfax news agency.

Witnesses saw nuts and bolts lying on the ground around the area of the explosion. A second explosive device was found elsewhere in the Belarusian capital, Interfax reported.

President unharmed

Long-time Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was reportedly in attendance at the concert where the bombing took place, but was not injured. Lukashenko has been criticized by the West for ruling the ex-Soviet state with an iron grip since the mid-1990s.

Presidential spokesman Pavel Legkiy told Reuters news agency that Lukashenko was not the target of the bombing. Police said it could be the work of "hooligans."

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