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Bomb blast injures five in Crimea

December 10, 1997

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) _ A bomb exploded at a Crimean emergency ward on Tuesday, killing a nurse and seriously injuring four people in what police said was a botched contract killing.

A man left a homemade bomb on a windowsill at the Simferopol Regional Hospital, said Crimean police spokesman Olexander Dombrovsky.

The early morning blast seriously injured three male patients and two nurses. One of them, 24-year-old Olena Khokhlova, died hours later. Several other people were injured by flying glass and shrapnel.

The bomb destroyed three hospital wards and broke windows in neighboring buildings, Dombrovsky said.

He said that among those seriously injured was the man police believe was targeted in the bombing, a purported organized crime figure in the Crimean resort city of Yalta.

Ukrainian news agencies and television networks later identified the man as Olexander Lesnikov, but said he was unhurt.

Lesnikov survived an attempt on his life last month when a bomb exploded on the windowsill of his Yalta home, reports said.

Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula, has been plagued by killings recently. Police say some of them are the result of a struggle for control over profitable resorts and property along the area’s southern shore.

Update hourly