Explosion in Minsk injures 50

Author : DPA

Minsk - A bomb injured up to 50 people in Belarus' capital Minsk a little after midnight (2100 GMT) on Friday during a concert celebrating Independence Day, officials said. "There are a few severely injured, but no dead," Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov told Interfax news agency.

Some of the injured were being operated on in hospital. Many suffered wounds to their arms and legs, and some lost fingers amputated by the blast, according to eyewitness accounts.

Witnesses saw nuts and bolts lying on the ground around the area of the explosion. The detonation reportedly took place during an outdoor concert in the centre of the Belarusian capital.

One blogger claiming to have been on the scene wrote the explosion "was loud with a small column of smoke...(but) there wasn't a flash or a great number of (metal) fragments."

Police were investigating the incident, and officers were stationed in three hospitals were survivors were being treated, spokesman Anatoliy Kuleshov said.

Earlier Thursday a military parade was held to mark the Belarusian Independence Day in front of the Minsk City Hero obelisk at the center of the capital.