The number of victims of the explosion in the Minsk subway has increased to 12 people. About 150 people have asked for medical help. Twenty-two people received serious injuries as a result of the explosion; they remain in critical condition.
Many of the wounded suffered injuries of the abdominal cavity, arms and legs. The power of the explosion was equivalent to 5-7 kilos TNT. The bomb was reportedly placed underneath a bench on the platform of Oktyabrskaya station, near the tracks. The bomb was filled with metal balls about 1 cm in diameter. A large shell-hole, 80 cm in diameter, was formed on the platform as a result of the blast. There were approximately 300 people on the platform at the moment when the explosion occurred.
It was the best location for a maximum-effect terrorist act in Minsk, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta wrote. There are only two lines in the Minsk subway, and there is only one transfer station there, and this is the station where the tragedy occurred. The explosion has paralyzed the subway of the Belarusian capital.
April 13th has been declared the day of mourning in Belarus. The funeral ceremonies for the victims of the bombing will be held on April 13-15.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko conducted an urgent meeting with the ministers of law-enforcement structures. Lukashenko ordered the Prosecutor General to set up an investigation committee and strengthen it with Interior Ministry and KGB officers.
According to Lukashenko, the subway bombing can be linked with the events of July 3, 2008, BELTA news agency reports.
"They can be the links of one chain. Find those who want to undermine stability in the country," Lukashenko said. "I want you to remember that you are bearing personal responsibility for the investigation of this criminal case," the head of state said.
On July 3, 2008, an explosion ripped through the crowd during a gala concert celebrating the Independence Day of Belarus. About 50 people were injured in the explosion, although there were no lethal outcomes.
In the meantime, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Belarus has officially recognized the explosion in the Minsk subway as a terrorist act.