Series of blasts hits eastern Ukrainian city | News | DW | 27.04.2012
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Series of blasts hits eastern Ukrainian city

A series of blasts in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk has left 27 people injured, according to officials at the nation's Emergency Situations Ministry.

Ukrain's Emergency Situations Ministry said four blasts rocked the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk on Friday, leaving at 27 people injured. Nine of them were school children.

Explosive devices placed in trash bins hat detonated within about 90 minutes of each other. The blasts occurred near a movie theater, a tram stop, a park, and another downtown location. That fourth blast appeared not to have caused casualties.

President Viktor Yanukovych vowed to respond firmly. "We understand that this is another challenge, for the entire nation."

Motives unexplained

Authorities made no immediate comment on the potential perpertrators or their motives. The prosecutor general's office said only that it was treating the bombings as an "act of terrorism."

The blasts come just weeks before Ukraine co-hosts the European football championships. Dnipropetrovsk is not a host venue.

The Interfax news agency said Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko had headed to Dnipropetrovsk to oversee an investigation into the incidents.

"Not-one has been detained yet," a police spokesman said late on Friday afternoon.

Bomb attacks have been rare in the former Soviet republic but political tension is high.

Dnipropetrovsk is coincidentally the home city of the president's rival, the 2004 Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoschenko.

She is currently on hunger strike while serving a seven-year jail term on disputed charges of abuse of power. Her jailing has strained relations between Ukraine and Western governments.

ipj/mz (Reuters, AFP, AP)