Blast in Ukraine’s Kiev injures two during Independence Day celebrations

FRENCH PRESS AGENCY - AFP
KIEV
Published 24.08.2017 16:16
Updated 24.08.2017 16:21
A Ukrainian Armed Forces military unit marches on Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, 24 August 2017, during a parade on the occasion of the country's 'Independence Day' celebrations. (EPA Photo)
A Ukrainian Armed Forces military unit marches on Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, 24 August 2017, during a parade on the occasion of the country's 'Independence Day' celebrations. (EPA Photo)

Two people were hurt in a blast caused by an "unknown object" in central Kiev Thursday as Ukraine celebrated Independence Day, officials said, suggesting it could be the work of hooligans.

The incident, which occurred as US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was visiting the country, occurred near the site of a military parade.

"At 1406 (1206 GMT) we received information about an explosion of an unknown object," a police statement said.

"A man and a woman received bodily injuries," it said, adding that investigators and explosion experts were working at the scene on Grushevskogo street, near the building of the Ukrainian government.

Officials quickly cordoned off the area and the wounded individuals were taken away, an AFP correspondent said.

Spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) told AFP that "so far our first version of the blast is hooliganism."

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