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Belarus arrests four for trying to sabotage railway links to Ukraine

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By AFP  with Euronews
Belarus has served as a transit zone for Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.
Belarus has served as a transit zone for Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.   -   Copyright  МВД Беларуси – Telegram

Four people have been arrested in Belarus on suspicion of trying to prevent Russian equipment from travelling to Ukraine by train.

Belarusian authorities said on Wednesday that four suspects had been accused of "sabotaging" railway equipment.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Belarusian opposition groups have urged "partisan" groups to wage a "rail war" in the country to slow down Russian troops using the country as a transit zone.

A deputy to the Belarusian interior minister, Gennady Kazakevich, said that three individuals -- aged between 27 and 28 -- were arrested on the night of 30 March in the central Bobruysk region.

According to Kazakevich, the suspects had damaged and set fire to railway electrical cabinets and signal instruments near the town of Ossipovitchi.

Minsk says that the individuals were injured after "actively resisting" arrest and law enforcement officers opened fire.

The fourth suspect -- a 40-year-old man -- was also "seriously wounded" by bullets when he was arrested on 1 April in the Borissov region, northeast of Minsk.

"The Belarusian Interior Ministry warns that any action by individuals seeking to carry out such sabotage against Belarusian railways will be severely repressed with the use of firearms," Kazakevich said.

Minsk has stated that "extremist" channels on Telegram have called for "terrorist attacks" on the country's railway network.

"Two criminals are wounded and are in medical institutions. Others received medical care on the spot," a statement read.

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs warns that the actions of persons plotting such sabotage on the Belarusian railway will be severely suppressed with the use of weapons."