Suspects arrested over Ukraine church explosion

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Several suspects have been arrested in connection with an explosion at a church in southeast Ukraine this week that killed an 80-year-old nun, a minister said Friday.

"Several people have been arrested, one could say they are implicated in the crime," Interior Minister Anatoly Mogilev told online newspaper

"But nothing has been proven, investigations and expert assessments are ongoing," he said.

The explosion happened at a church in the city of Zaporozhye on Wednesday, killing an elderly nun and injuring nine others.

According to regional authorities, the force of the blast was the equivalent of 500 grammes (18 ounces) of TNT.

The blast came on the final day of a visit to Ukraine by Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill that had angered nationalists.

It was not clear if the events were linked.

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

© 2010 AFP

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