Suspect Identified in Subway Explosion in Belarus

April 12, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

People lay flowers and place candles outside a metro station hit by a blast in downtown Minsk, on April 12, 2011. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images)
People lay flowers and place candles outside a metro station hit by a blast in downtown Minsk, on April 12, 2011. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images)
Belarus security officials have identified a young man, age 25 to 35, as the main suspect in a bomb explosion in a subway station in the capital Minsk April 11.

Belarus security service, which still bears the Soviet-era name, KGB, reported that they had a composite sketch of the man and that the suspect was “dressed in a brown coat and a woolen hat," according to local media reports.

Twelve people were killed and about 200 injured when a bomb exploded at the Oktyabrskaya subway station during rush hour. According to the KGB, an explosive device was planted under a bench on a platform.

The KGB is investigating various motivations for the bombing, including the intent to destabilize the country and a revenge attack by terrorist groups, according to an opposition news website, Charter7.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion, and the KGB has not released the identities of the suspected perpetrators.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko called an emergency meeting April 11 where he ordered security officials to launch a thorough investigation and heighten security measures in the city. The president said the bomb may have been a “gift” from persons outside the country, but that investigations be domestic as well, according to Lukashenko's press service.

Human rights activists have voiced concerns that Lukashenko may use the case to further clamp down on dissidents and opposition activists.