Special force officers guard the entrance to a Minsk metro station today. AP Photo/Sergei Grits

Several arrests as Minsk metro bombing toll rises to 12

Over 200 people were injured in yesterday’s bomb attack on a central underground rail station in the capital of Belarus.

BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES have confirmed that 12 people died and over 200 were injured in yesterday’s bomb attack on one of the capital city’s main metro stations.

The device exploded inside the Oktyabrskaya station just before 6pm local time.

Investigators from Belarus’ domestic security agency, the KGB (it retained its Soviet-era name), say they have already identified the main culprit and are searching for him. Several people have been arrested so far.

In a statement, the KBG said the bomb filled with nails and metal balls had been placed on a bench inside the station.

The device was radio-controlled, according to Interior Minister Anatoly Kuleshov. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on the station, which is located some 100 meters from the presidential offices.

President Lukashenko brought his six-year-old son to visit the bomb site just two hours after the explosion and ordered a thorough investigation into the attack.

Lukashenko’s opponents fear he may react to the bomb attack by clamping down further on political dissent. The New York Times reports that the incident has further increased political tension in Belarus.

- Additional reporting by the AP