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Moldovan Officials Say Blast An 'Act Of Terror'

Shaken concertgoers after the explosion ripped through the outdoor event in Chisinau on October 14
CHISINAU -- Moldovan officials say the explosion of a grenade at a concert in downtown Chisinau on October 14 that left some 40 people injured was an "act of terror," RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Prosecutor-General Valeriu Zubko said police initially considered the explosion an attempted murder but later "came to the conclusion that in was an attempt to intimidate the population."

He has ordered a criminal investigation looking into terrorism charges.

Interior Minister Victor Catana said a 25-year-old man is being sought as a suspect.

Police say a Soviet-made grenade detonated as Romanian singer Stefan Banica Jr. was performing in Chisinau's central square during a concert marking an annual festival celebrating the capital city's founding.

The incident comes a few weeks after a liberal-democrat coalition appointed a new government after eight years of communist rule.

Catana said phone calls were made to the office of new Prime Minister Vlad Filat last night threatening "physical revenge."

He said authorities will "eliminate [all] suspicions so that people feel they are protected and safe."

Moldovans have seen considerable volatility this year, beginning with postelection street protests and violence in April and followed by the ouster of the long-ruling Communists and their president, Vladimir Voronin, after a repeat election left pro-Western parties with a majority in the parliament.