KGB investigates blast in Homel store

The Committee for State Security (KGB) has launched criminal investigation in connection with the explosion in a store in the city of Homel on April 19, 2012.

In its statement, the press office of the KGB office in the Homel region said that the improvised explosive device had been set off «for carrying out actions of the terrorist nature». KGB officials said that the explosion might well be a result of a war between groups engaged in illegal immigration of foreigners moving to Homel under the veil of studying at local universities. In particular, the security agency said that the bomb had been made of foreign-made parts.

Cashier Lidziya Zlobina, an eyewitness to the incident, said that she had heard a «pop» and seen smoke rising from the scene of the explosion. «No one cried, no one was scared, later emergency management workers and police arrived and sealed off the store,» she noted.

Shortly after the blast, Belarusian TV reported that shopgirl Katsiaryna Humenikava had been injured in the explosion, but the woman was at work on April 23, 2012. She refused to talk about the incident referring to secrecy of the investigation. When asked about her injuries, Katsiaryna Humenikava laughed and told journalists that she had not been hurt.

Soon after reporters came into the store on Monday, a group of plainclothesmen who identified themselves as law enforcement officers arrived and asked them out. The officers said that they would conduct investigative activities. After showing Ms. Humenikava some images on a laptop computer for some 10 minutes, the officers left.

After examining surveillance camera footage and other information, investigators said that they were looking for two men aged between 25 and 35. One of the suspects was described as a bearded man with an athletic build and a scar on his face.

Besides, the investigation team is developing other most apparent versions.

On April 19, 2012 the KGB press office informed of conducting joint anti-terroristic exercises which representatives of the KGB, police and the Ministry of Emergency Situations would participate in.


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