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Lukashenka Sacks Two Top Officials After Minsk Blast


The aftermath of the Minsk explosion

The aftermath of the Minsk explosion

MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has sacked his chief of staff and the head of the security council, his office said, after last week's blast at an open-air concert which he attended.

Lukashenka had said he did not consider the blast, which injured over 50 people but did not harm him, as an assassination attempt. But on July 7 he strongly criticised Security Council chief Viktor Sheyman for failing to prevent the incident.

His office said Lukashenka had signed the papers for the dismissal of Sheyman and Gennady Nevyglas, his chief of staff.

The West has accused the long-time ruler of rigging his reelection, gagging media, and incarcerating opponents.

The European Union and the United States have banned Lukashenka from entry.
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