Several terrorism suspects have been detained in Belarus after a rush-hour bomb attack at a metro station in the capital that left a dozen people dead.
Around 150 others are in hospital, some in a serious condition, after Monday’s blast at one of the busiest underground rail junctions in Minsk.
The station is near the presidential headquarters and the ex-Soviet republic’s autocratic leader, Alexander Lukashenko, was swiftly at the scene. He claims the blast is a possibly foreign attempt to destabilise the country.
He said he had consulted with President Medvedev of Russia, no stranger to terror attacks. On this basis, Lukashenko advised officials in Belarus to seek help from Russian investigators.
While the bombing resembled similar attacks in Russia, Belarus has no Islamic insurgency problem.
It also has no real history of political violence although tension surrounded Lukashenko’s controversial re-election last year, with many opposition figures arrested.
As doctors fight to save the lives of those most seriously hurt, an official day of mourning will be observed on Wednesday.