U.N. council condemns "apparent terrorist" Minsk attack

UNITED NATIONS Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:22pm EDT

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council condemned on Wednesday what it called an "apparent terrorist attack" on a metro station in Belarus, phraseology that appeared to reflect uncertainty over who was behind it.

Monday's bombing at the station in the center of the Belarus capital, Minsk, killed 12 people and wounded 150. The interior minister of the former Soviet republic said three people had been detained, all of them Belarussian citizens.

"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the apparent terrorist attack," the 15-nation body said in a statement.

"The word 'apparent' is included in this statement for a reason," a Security Council diplomat said, without elaborating.

Belarus' autocratic president, Alexander Lukashenko, whom some Western officials have described as Europe's last dictator, said the "detained criminals" had confessed to carrying out the bombing and two previous explosions.

He also ordered security forces to question local "political actors" -- a reference to the opposition -- over the latest blast. Opposition politicians and analysts said they expected a witch hunt.

The Security Council statement reminded countries that anti-terrorism measures must comply with their obligations under international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

(Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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