21 hurt after explosion shakes Baltic ferry

9th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

An explosion sparked a fire aboard a Baltic Sea ferry, injuring 21 people, none seriously, authorities said Saturday.

The blast, whose cause was not yet known, occurred around midnight (2200 GMT) Friday, aboard the Lisco Gloria, which had left the German port of Kiel for Lithuania with more than 200 passengers and their vehicles aboard.

Three people affected by smoke from the fire were taken off the Lithuanian-flagged ferry by helicopter, coastguard services said.

An inquiry had been launched to determine the cause of the accident, but the coastguards stressed there was "absolutely no" indication of an attack.

The United States, Britain, Japan and Sweden recently issued alert warnings of a "possible terrorist attack" by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups against their citizens travelling in Europe.

This followed reports in British and US media that said that an Al-Qaeda plot to carry out attacks in Britain, France and Germany, similar to the assault in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people, had been uncovered.

A US drone attack on Monday in Pakistan killed five German nationals said to be undergoing training to fight with the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.

© 2010 AFP

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