At least 27 people were hurt after four blasts hit Ukraine’s eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk on Friday, AFP reported.
Nine children were injured in the succession of explosions and 25 of the 27 injured were hospitalized, emergency officials told AFP.
President Viktor Yanukovych vowed a firm response to the explosions, which came weeks before the Euro 2012 football championship that Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland.
“We know that there are victims, we understand that this is another challenge, for the entire nation,” Yanukovych told journalists while on a visit to a factory in the Crimea on the Black Sea.
“We will think about how to respond adequately,” he added. “I think we will figure it out. It’s a pity that this has happened.”
Dnipropetrovsk is the home town of Yanukovych’s fierce opponent, the 2004 Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving a jail sentence for abuse of power that has strained relations between Ukraine and the European Union.
Dnipropetrovsk is not a host city in the country’s first major international sports event, but is on the route of the trophy tour that is due there on May 21, AFP noted.
Officials said that the first blast went off in a trash bin near a movie theatre in the centre of the city at 11:50 a.m. local time. A second blast followed 40 minutes later and the third, in another busy central street, was 15 minutes after that, they said.
The fourth explosion went off at 1:00 p.m. local time, the interior ministry said without providing further details.
AFP reported that amateur videos shot in the city and uploaded to a local news website showed people tending to the wounded at the tram stop surrounded by shattered glass and sheets of metal near a tram.
Ukrainian prosecutors have launched a probe into possible acts of terrorism, the Interfax news agency reported. No information was released as to the possible perpetrators of the blasts. A similar series of explosions in eastern Ukraine in January last year were linked by officials to an attempt to extort money.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)