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article imageUkraine explosions: Follow up to blast in 2011?

By Anne Sewell     Apr 28, 2012 in World
Dnepropetrovsk - Yesterday four explosions hit the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk, injuring at least 29 people, including around 10 children.
Digital Journal reported yesterday on the four explosions in various areas of Dnepropetrovsk which injured at least 29 people.
Ria Novosti has reported that the Security Service’s First Deputy Chairman Vladimir Rokitsky has said they have asked the help of international organizations to investigate the bomb attacks.
Rokitsky stated in an interview with the First National Channel on Friday that, “The [Security Service’s] Antiterrorism Center and its head have turned for help to international organizations that have an opportunity to assist in investigating this crime.” However, he did not elaborate on which organizations had been contacted.
He added that Polish and Russian special services have offered their help in the investigation.
Rokitsky doubts that the attacks should be qualified as acts of terrorism and stated, “I would not immediately declare that those were terrorist attacks,” he said. “Let us understand first how this crime should be qualified.”
Investigators into the blasts have linked them with an explosion last November in the same city, which killed one man. In their latest findings they state that the same culprit may be responsible for both last year's bomb blast and the current attacks.
The previous explosion in Dnepropetrovsk occurred on November 16, 2011 at a bus stop close to a downtown shopping center in the city. Bombs consisted of handmade explosives and were placed in concrete trash bins, in much the same way as the current attacks.
According to the head of Ukraine's Security Service, Igor Kalinin, “If more similarities are found in the two cases – we’re going to combine both sets of attacks into one criminal case.”
Last year's attack destroyed virtually all evidence and prior to the explosion, anonymous text messages were sent warning of the attack. With the current explosions, no warnings were received.
Officials have now collected the contents of all trash bins within a 1-kilometer radius of yesterday's explosions for more detailed examination.
While the Ukrainian police remain on high alert, there are no identity checks or roadblocks on entry to the city. However, all public events in the city have been cancelled until May 2.
Ukraine's President, Viktor Yanukovich is arriving in the city on Saturday and has promised a tough response to the explosions. He stated, "We know that there are victims, we understand that this is another challenge for the entire nation."
The public has been asked to be patient with possible questioning and to report any information concerning the bomb attacks.
Of the 29 injured, over 20 people remain in hospital, with the worst injury causing a man's arm to be amputated as doctors could not save it.
While the attacks have come at a sensitive time, with the Euro 2012 football tournament just weeks away, Ukrainian authorities have promised that UEFA's confidence in security measures undertaken for the event will not be in vain.
In an official statement released following the explosions, authorities say "a smooth and festive tournament will be ensured."
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