ST. PETERSBURG, July 3 (RIA Novosti) – A man who picked up an unattended bag near a McDonalds in downtown St. Petersburg on Wednesday reportedly lost his hand and was wounded in the stomach when the bag suddenly exploded.
The McDonalds, on the city’s main street, Nevsky Prospekt, was the scene of a 2007 bombing that was claimed to be in protest of anti-Russia sentiment in the West. Wednesday’s blast happened about 100 meters from the restaurant’s entrance.
A spokesman for Russia’s Federal Security Service said Wednesday that the agency had “no reasons to say that the cause of the blast is related to the activities of terrorist groups.”
A police source told RIA Novosti that the blast occurred around 3 p.m. and the man lost his hand. Russian news site Fontanka.ru reported the stomach injury. Bomb experts are currently working at the scene.
The explosion on February 18, 2007, left a dozen people injured. Police soon detained four suspects, aged 17 to 27, who claimed that the explosion was a protest against the West.
Two of those suspects were found guilty and sentenced to six and 15 years behind bars. One was given a seven-year conditional sentence, and the fourth was cleared of all charges.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.