Nine hurt in Ukraine church bombing: official

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A homemade bomb exploded in a church in Ukraine on Wednesday, wounding nine people on the last day of a controversial visit to the country by Russia's Orthdox Patriarch Kirill I, security forces said.

"It was a homemade bomb," Ukrainian security services SBU spokeswoman Marina Ostapenko said of the blast at a church in the southeastern city of Zaporijia on Wednesday afternoon.

"A woman has serious leg wounds," said regional interior ministry spokesman Olexandre Volkodav. "A team of investigators is on the scene."

A police statement said the blast did not cause major damage to the church.

A church official told a local news website that a parcel bomb was to blame.

"A package was near the church entrance, no one paid it any attention and it exploded," the official was quoted as saying by the website.

The building belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is under the Russian patriarchate in Moscow. The church operates in Ukraine alongside dissident Orthodox confessions, with which it has tense relations.

The bombing happened on the last day of a visit by Russia's Orthodox Patriarch Kirill that has been slammed as a slight to Ukraine's sovereignty by an influential dissident church and seen nationalist demonstrations.

© 2010 AFP

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