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Ukraine law-enforcers detain 4 suspects in Kharkov blast, seize weapons - security chief

February 22, 2015, 17:19 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, February 22. /TASS/. Ukraine has introduced heightened terrorist threat security and launched an anti-terrorist operation after a blast in east Ukraine’s Kharkov that killed at least two people, Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Alexander Turchynov said on Sunday.

"Due to the terrorist act that was carried out in Kharkov, which killed a policeman and a civilian, and also injured five police and four civilians, according to preliminary data, the highest terrorist threat regime has been introduced in the city and an anti-terrorist operation has been launched," Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper quoted Turchynov as saying.

A remote control device of directed impact was used during a march in Kharkov devoted to the Maidan protests in Kiev a year ago, Turchynov said.

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council launched a joint anti-terrorist operation with the Interior Ministry, "as a result of which four participants in the blast were already detained and weapons were seized from them, including a grenade launcher," Turchynov said.

The Kharkov health department has said the blast during the Euro-Maidan march in the city had claimed the lives of two persons and another nine were wounded, including three in a grave condition.

The march organizers said a coordinator and a Euro-Maidan head in Kharkov, Igor Tolmachev, was killed in the blast. Another person killed in the blast is a policeman.

The explosive device that went off during the march in Kharkov was a self-made bomb and was stuffed with nails, Head of the Kharkov Main Department of Ukraine’s Security Service Alexander Pivovar said on the blast scene.

"The explosive device was a self-made bomb similar to the bomb that went off near the building of the Moskovsky court," he said.

Eye-witnesses earlier told TASS news agency the explosive device was thrown from a car but law-enforcement agencies are saying it was hidden in the snow.

About 400 activists and members of public movements gathered with Ukrainian flags near the Kharkov Sports Palace to mark one year since Maidan protests in Kiev that eventually led to the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The activists were intended to march to Kharkov’s Freedom Square.

Several powerful explosions hit the Kharkov Region late last year and early this year.

A railway track was damaged, electricity transmission lines were ruptured and windows were smashed in a blast in October 2014 at the Vodyanoye-Kolomak rail section in the Kolomak district of the Kharkov Region.

A criminal case was opened on charges of subversion activity.

On January 19, a powerful explosion near the building of the Moskovsky Court injured 13 people. The explosion was qualified as a terrorist act.

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