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Belarus president fires 2 top officials over holiday blast

MINSK, July 8 (RIA Novosti) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed orders on Tuesday dismissing two high-ranking officials from over the Independence Day blast that left injured 50 people in central Minsk.

The explosion, which police have attributed to "hooliganism," went off in the middle of the crowd at an open-air concert marking the national holiday last Thursday. Lukashenko was at the event and investigators determined he was within range of the explosive device.

The president sacked the state secretary of the Belarusian Security Council, Viktor Sheiman, and the head of the Presidential Administration, Gennady Nevyglas.

On Monday, Lukashenko criticized the Security Council's work during the Independence Day celebrations, as well as the work of police and doctors after the blast.

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