Bombs wound 27 in Ukrainian city

Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:24pm GMT

By Pavel Polityuk

DNIPROPETROVSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Four bombs exploded in a city in eastern Ukraine on Friday, wounding 27 people, including nine children, in what authorities described as an "act of terrorism".

President Viktor Yanukovich said the blasts in Dnipropetrovsk, six weeks before Ukraine plays host to the European soccer championship, represented "a challenge ... to the whole country."

Bomb attacks are a rare occurrence in the former Soviet republic and the blasts one after the other traumatised people in the city, one of Ukraine's main industrial centres with a population of around 1.3 million.

"I had just stepped out of my house when I saw people run down the street screaming 'Explosions!'," said 50-year-old local journalist Tetyana.

"There is panic in the city. People are taking their children out of schools and rushing to their homes," she said.

Police said the bombs had been left in rubbish bins at various points in the city. "No-one has been detained yet," a police spokesman said.

Authorities offered no immediate explanation on who may be responsible. But the prosecutor general's office formally opened a criminal case classifying the blasts as an "act of terrorism".

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the attacks could be exploited by his government's critics. "It plays into the hand of the forces that want to destabilise the situation in the country ..." he wrote on his Facebook page.   Continued...

People assist an injured woman at the scene of an explosion in Dnipropetrovsk, April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
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