Tuesday, May 24, 2011 -
A car explosion on Tuesday morning rocked the Kazakh capital Astana and killed the vehicle's two occupants, media sources reported.
The blast came less than a week after a local man blew himself up inside the National Security Committee regional headquarters in the northwestern Kazakh city of Aktobe, which killed the bomber and left three others injured.
The Interior Ministry on Tuesday played down talk of a suicide bombing and said a “spontaneous explosion” tore through the vehicle, an Audi-100 car.
The circumstances “indicate the absence of any signs of a terrorist act,” the Interior Ministry report said.
The blast happened outside a security services detention center at 3.40 am. The vehicle was parked in a vacant lot away from houses, the report added.
The explosion shattered windows of nearby buildings but caused no reported injuries to residents.
An investigative team found the “dead bodies of two unidentified men of European appearance, a driver's license and a hunting license belonging to 49-year-old Kelplera Dmitriy, a native of the Kyrgyz Republic,” reported the Trend news agency, citing the Interior Ministry document.
Police also found a “passport belonging to 26-year-old Ivan Cheremukhin, who was earlier convicted for theft and fraud, as well as Sony-Ericsson mobile phone," the report added.
The security services suggested the explosion occurred as the result of an accident.
"A car just caught fire and blew up. Nothing special happened here. Any car can catch fire in any place," the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reported security services spokesman Kenzhebulat Beknazarov as saying.
The May 17 suicide bombing was the first ever in Kazakhstan.