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Belarus detains gunmen plotting to stage armed provocation

March 21, 2017, 14:34 UTC+3 MINSK

President Alexander Lukashenko stresses that Belarus is prepared to clamp down on any illegal activity

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MINSK, March 21. /TASS/. Belarusian authorities have detained gunmen who prepared to stage an armed provocation, the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday.

"We have just apprehended dozens of militants, who had been preparing an armed provocation," Lukashenko said in Mogilev, eastern Belarus, according to the Belta news agency. "In fact, they were not asleep, they had been preparing and choosing the moment."

The detained persons had been "training with weapons in camps," Lukashenko said, adding that one of the camps was located near Bobruisk and Osipovichi, in the Mogilev region.

The other camps are in Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland, and the money had been funneled via Poland and Lithuania to Belarus, he said. Lukashenko stressed that more details will be unveiled to the public later. The plot was revealed by a Belarusian woman, who came to an embassy in an EU country. She wrote an official letter that a provocation had been under preparation, he said.

The president stressed that Belarus is prepared to clamp down on any illegal activity and banditry.

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