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Blast in Soccer Stadium Kills 6

October 16, 1995

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) _ An explosion in a soccer stadium killed six people, including the president of the home club, in eastern Ukraine.

Interior Ministry officials said the blast Sunday in the city of Donetsk apparently was caused by a bomb planted as part of a war between crime gangs.

Killed were Alexander Bragin, president of Donetsk’s Shakhtyor soccer club, his brother and four bodyguards, said Interior Ministry spokesman Viktor Krivorodko. A vendor standing nearby was injured.

Bragin, known as ``Alik the Greek,″ was reputed to be a Donetsk crime boss, Krivorodko said.

``All of the people killed were representatives of criminal structures in the city,″ Krivorodko said today.

The blast at the entrance to Bragin’s seating area occurred shortly after the start of the match between Shakhtyor and the visiting Simferopol team, Tavria. The game was stopped in the seventh minute and will be replayed.

Organized crime in Ukraine has risen since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union four years ago. Many crime groups are suspected of involvement in the lucrative soccer business, often as sponsors through their legitimate businesses.

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