Prosecutor: Bomb that exploded in Ukraine church was homemade

| July 29, 2010

Kyiv, July 29 (Interfax) – The bomb that exploded inside the Intercession Cathedral in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, on Wednesday, killing a nun, was a homemade device, a local website said, citing the Zaporizhia region prosecutor.

The device was a metal saucepan 18 centimeters in diameter filled with aluminum powder and saltpeter, Reporter Zaporizhia cited the prosecutor, Vyacheslav Pavlov, as saying. Pavlov said the bomb had been equivalent in power to 200 grams of TNT.

Investigators were practically 100% sure the bomb had not been professionally made and that the explosive had not been manufactured industrially.

Bomb experts were still working on the bombing site, "sifting through, literally piece by piece, whatever the explosion has left behind," the website said.

The bomb had been planted in the church around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. "It was seen but no one was paying attention," Pavlov said.

It lay near the bench on which nun Lyudmila, who worked at the church was sitting when it went off.

The cathedral belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that comes under the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian orthodox Church.

Nine people were injured in the blast, the regional police told Interfax.

At 4:39 p.m. local time, police received a report from a duty officer of the Emergency Situations Ministry division that an explosion had occurred in the cathedral standing near a marketplace.

Operatives, investigators and representatives of the prosecutor's office were alerted to the scene.

"Nine people were injured in the blast. They were rushed to hospital," a police spokesman said.

He said the priest's wife was hurt most – two of her bones were broken.

The spokesman said that the blast did not cause any damage to the cathedral despite local media reports saying windows were broken.

Investigators are working at the scene to identify the cause of the blast.

Earlier, Ukrainian Security Service spokesperson Maryna Ostapenko told Interfax that an improvised bomb had exploded at a market near the cathedral injuring four.

Orthodox Christians mark July 28 as the Day of the Baptism of Rus.

Reporter Zaporizhia said Lyudmila had died during an operation after being injured in the explosion.

"Unfortunately, doctors didn't manage to save the 80-year-old woman (Sister Lyudmila), who was in a critical condition. She died on the operating table," head of the Zaporizhia City Health Service Nadiya Sevalneva said.

Sevalneva said that five of the nine injured during the blast were hospitalized.

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Category: Church Security

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