A deadly blast has rocked a subway station in Belarus’s capital city of Minsk on Monday leaving scores of wounded.
TV reports said that seven people were killed and upwards of 80 wounded, however, according to Interfax, citing a law enforcement source, at least 50 people were injured and five were killed in the blast that took place at the Oktyabrskaya station, located near Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s office.
A reason for the blast has still not been released, athough Interfax quotes a source as saying the blast is suspected to be related to a terrorist action. Upon news of the blast, Lukashenko called an emergency meeting.
Interfax reports that 25 people have been taken to the hospital, 11 of them in critical condition .
“There are very many people with injuries, it’s difficult for us to speak of numbers so far. Those injured are being taken to all hospitals in the city,” an ambulance service spokesperson told Interfax.
RIA Novosti reported that smoke is pouring out from the station, which has been cordoned off by police. An eyewitness said the blast may have damaged the station structure, according to RIA Novosti.
Interfax reports that Moscow police have been placed on high alerted following the Minsk blast. Citing a law enforcement official, Interfax said that police reinforcements were posted at entrances to and on platforms in Moscow metro stations, noting that there would be tighter security in railroad terminals, airports and other places of human congestion.
According to VOA, there has been political tension in Belarus since Lukashenko won the December 2010 election and then launched a brutal crackdown on all opposition figures, as well a rights activists.