Alleged Minsk Subway Bombers Go On Trial in Belarus

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 9:20 am (UTC-5)
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Two men accused of carrying out a deadly rush hour subway bombing in Minsk last April went on trial in Belarus Thursday.

The opening day of the Minsk trial was attended by more than 100 people who were injured or lost relatives in the attack.

The explosion took place on a crowded Minsk subway platform, killing 15 people and wounding more than 200. Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov, both 25, were arrested three days after the April 11 bombing and have been charged with terrorism.

Officials say one of the men was spotted on a surveillance video placing a bag where the explosion occurred. The bomb, which was detonated remotely, was filled with small pieces of metal meant to cause maximum casualties.

Belarus justice officials have also linked the two men to a series of other blasts between 2005 and 2008.

The bombing took place against a backdrop of political tension and a currency crisis, and President Alexander Lukashenko described the bombing at the time as an attempt to destabilize the country. Authorities now say they do not see any political overtones to the bomb attack, but have failed to come up with a clear motive.