Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


IDF Team to Support Belarus Blast Probe

An IDF team is helping Belarus determine what caused an explosion in a Minsk subway station during the evening rush hour on Monday.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 4/13/2011, 4:03 PM / Last Update: 4/13/2011, 8:45 PM

An IDF team will support Belarus authorities in their efforts to determine what caused an explosion in a subway in Minsk during the evening rush hour on Monday.

At least 12 people died and more than 200 others were wounded in the blast. The explosion ripped through the city's Oktyabrskaya subway station, located close to national government offices.

The Israeli delegation, expected to arrive in the Belarus capital on Wednesday, is comprised of medical and forensic specialists.

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent the team in response to a request from the Belarus government.

The team, three IDF Home Front Command trauma specialists and four Israel Police forensic specialists, is led by Lt.Col. Dr. Alon Galzberg. The team leader is the head of the Medical Corps trauma department.

Russian authorities believe the explosion was due to a terrorist attack, according to a report on the Russian news network News BCM. Members of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation also arrived in Minsk on Wednesday, committee head Andrei Schwed told the ONT TV channel.

According to a report published in the Kommersant daily newspaper, a person was seen on security cameras leaving a bag with explosives at the Minsk metro station. The subway station's surveillance cameras show a man quietly putting a heavy bag under a seat in the subway and quietly leaving.

“Israeli experts are expected to arrive in Minsk to help the local intelligence agencies,” BCM reported.

Belarusian KGB sources told the news channel the motive for the attack could have been due to “the desire to destabilize the situation, the influence of extremist organizations or a mentally sick person.” Russia has given Belarus a list of those wanted for terrorism.

Editor's Note: the Belarusian intelligence service continues to use the Soviet-era designation "KGB."