Two bomb blasts in Ukraine's Kharkiv, no casualties: official

7th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

Two bomb attacks early Tuesday shook Ukraine's second city Kharkiv, near the Russian border and the frontline of the country's war, causing some damage but no casualties.

The Kharkiv prosecutor's office said a probe was underway for a "terrorist attack" after a strong explosion in the city centre, which knocked out windows in a nearby university building and setting car alarms screeching.

The explosion damaged a flagpole with the national flag, but failed to knock it down, said a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office.

The early morning blasts came weeks after the deaths of four people killed by a bomb that tore through a pro-government "Dignity March" marking the one-year overthrow of the former pro-Kremlin president, Viktor Yanukovych, on February 23.

The second morning blast occurred on a railway line as a freight train was passing, damaging the tracks but causing no injuries and little disruption to traffic, interior ministry officials said.

The city of 1.4 million people is a major industrial centre with a large university population and is the capital of an area bordering the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, where a year of fighting between insurgents and the army has left more than 6,000 people dead.

It has been the scene of a string of bombings in the last months against military or strategic targets.

Kiev government officials say the attacks are orchestrated from Russia to destabilise a Russian-speaking region that harbours several aeronautical and aerospace firms as well as the Malyshev factories that manufacture tanks.

© 2015 AFP

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