Independence Day blast in Belarus leaves some 50 injured

MINSK. July 4. KAZINFORM. About 50 people were hospitalized after an explosion at an open air concert in downtown Minsk as Belarus celebrated its Independence Day, the republic's health ministry said on Friday.

There were no fatalities in the blast, which occurred late on Thursday. The exact number of casualties is currently being verified, Kazinform cites RIA Novosti.

"At present the scene has been cordoned off, and an investigation team is working at the scene," a local police source said. "The type of explosive device has yet to be established."

Doctors gave no details of the condition of the injured, but a police source said no one had been seriously hurt.

"We are considering a number of versions, of which hooliganism is the most probable," a police source said.

The concert was attended by the country's President Alexander Lukashenko.

In September 2005, 43 people were wounded, three of them seriously, in an explosion in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk, northeast of the capital Minsk. The explosive device, a beer can stuffed with metal fragments, was planted in the center of a dance floor.