Lukashenko turns to be within range of explosive device July 4

MINSK, July 7 (Itar-Tass) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko turned to be within the range of the explosive device during the incident on July 4 when Belarus marked Independence Day.

"During the incident, three victims were in the same range. They were near Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and the casualty radius was where they were," law enforcement agencies reported on Monday.

But law enforcers do not consider the version on the attempt on life of Alexander Lukashenko the main one. About 30 versions are now being considered by law enforcers.

Lukashenko said he is displeased with the work of special services during the incident in Minsk on July 4 when the republic marked Independence Day.

"I don't believe that you, Viktor Vladimirovich (state secretary of the Belarussian Security Council), will remain on this post after the incident," Lukashenko said in his meeting with the leadership of law enforcement agencies on Monday.

He stressed that he himself knew more what had happened. "The state secretary ignored the event," he added.

Lukashenko also pointed to inefficient actions by Belarussian police. "There were bushes and plants. And the explosion may be only here. I'd to climb into the crater and give an order to police," he said. "If this happened you should put more life into your movements. I talk about professionalism of our police," the president added.

At the same time, Lukashenko said he is a realist and he understands that when half million of people crowded round it is difficult to ensure security. He stressed that the incident occurred on the place, "which was taken under special control by police".

Lukashenko said the authorities were not going to use the tragic event in Minsk during the celebrations of Independence Day in order to increase pressure on the opposition.

"Why to turn the screws? What has happened in the country?" Lukashenko told journalists who asked him to comment on the opposition's attempts to prove of its non-participation in the incident.

He stressed that although this is a political issue "it is necessary to look into this incident in compliance with law". "Let it be the leaders or not the leaders who are significant figures for the West, we'll investigate this incident in full," Lukashenko noted. At the same time, he added that the authorities had enough forces for this.

The president said at present, there were two wings of the opposition in the country. These are the Belarussian People's Front (BPF, the radical nationalist party) and the Communists (who oppose the authorities). He recalled that the Belarussian People's Front had condemned the explosions and that it expressed regret over the incident. The Belarussian Communist leader did not rule out that this is the authorities' provocation.

Lukashenko said he is satisfied with the fact that the tragic events in Minsk had been covered by mass media. "I'm satisfied that the people (if you can name them the people) failed to receive what they hope for," he stressed.

Lukashenko added that he had not left the concert near the Minsk Hero Town Stella where the incident occurred in order not to spread panic for what the organisers hoped. At the same time, he recalled that there was a big crowd and there could have been a stampede, which might lead to the serious consequences than nine years ago when over 50 young people died.

"This was an act, which wasn't aimed against me. But it was aimed against peaceful civilians. I'm guarded and protected. This act was committed by mean and cowardly people," Lukashenko told journalists. "If they want to engage in war let us meet head-on. Why play dirty?" the president stressed, adding that the goal of criminals was to spread panic.

Lukashenko said representatives of Russian special services had arrived in the Belarussian capital to contribute to finding those who organised and committed the explosion.

"Russian special services operate. Director of the Russian Federal Security Service Army General Alexander Bortnikov proposed assistance in the investigation of the incident," the president said.

Lukashenko said the United States had also proposed their aid. In his words, he instructed the Interior Ministry and other law enforcement agencies to use the U.S. assistance if it necessary.

Russian parliamentarians provided their support for and expressed condolences to the Belarussian people due to the explosion in Minsk on July 4 during the celebrations on the occasion of Independence Day.

"Someone doesn't like that Belarus is an area of political and social stability, that the economy is developing in Belarus and that Belarus is a reliable partner of Russia," Communist Anatoly Lokot said.

His point of view was shared by State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov who said, "This is the common position".

The explosion in Minsk downtown occurred at 1.30 a.m. Moscow time on July 4 during the concert on the occasion of Independence Day. The self-made explosive device filled with small metallic objects detonated in the crowd of the audience. As a result of the blast 54 people were injured. Among them are citizens of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. A total of 46 people have been hospitalised.