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Finland's Navy Fires Warning Charges Near Suspected Submarine

Finland says its navy fired small underwater depth charges on April 28 as a warning against a suspected submarine in waters near Helsinki.

The grenade-size charges were fired amid growing military tensions with neighboring Russia, fueled by Russian border incursions and air force flights into Finnish airspace, since the conflict in eastern Ukraine began a year ago.

Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund did not say whether Russia was involved in April 28 incident in the Gulf of Finland.

But Haglund said: "It is always serious if our territorial waters have been violated."

Reports of a submarine spotted near Stockholm last year led to Sweden's biggest mobilization since the Cold War.

Regional tensions were reflected earlier in April after a joint statement by the Nordic countries -- Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland -- that directly cited the Russian "challenge" as grounds to increase defense cooperation.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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