Grenade explodes in Moldovan capital, 26 injured | world | Hindustan Times
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Grenade explodes in Moldovan capital, 26 injured

world Updated: Oct 15, 2009 15:55 IST

A grenade exploded and injured 26 people during a concert of Romanian and Moldovan artists in Moldova's capital, just after the prime minister received two threatening phone calls, officials said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Vlad Filat said the calls to his office threatened "physical revenge." He said authorities would investigate and "eliminate (all) suspicions, so that people feel they are protected and safe."

Authorities believe the explosion Wednesday night was politically motivated, General Prosecutor Valeriu Zubco said. A 25-year-old man is being sought as a suspect, Interior Minister Victor Catana said. The grenade detonated as Romanian singer Stefan Banica Jr was performing in a square in downtown Chisinau.

Some 40,000 people had attended the concert to mark the day Chisinau was founded, Deputy Parliament Speaker Alexandru Stoianoglo said.

Political unrest recently has rocked Moldova, where some 80 percent of the population is ethnic Romanian.

Communists who are hostile to Romania lost July 29 elections to a pro-European alliance, and now vow to oppose the pro-European candidate for president. This could lead to fresh elections. Moldova has large stockpiles of weapons left by Russians after a 1991 war in the separatist Trans-Dniester region. None of the 26 victims had life threatening injuries, though about 12 people remained in a hospital on Thursday.