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Blasts Near Consulates in Russia

April 24, 1999

MOSCOW (AP) _ A bomb exploded early Saturday outside a building that houses the U.S. and British consulates in the western Russian city of Yekaterinburg, an American Embassy spokesman in Moscow said. There were no reports of injuries.

According to the ITAR-Tass news agency, the bomb was a homemade device that had been left under a car in a parking lot outside the building.

The explosion left a 3-foot-deep crater in the parking lot and blew out windows in the building, the report said.

Police did not know if the explosion in Yekaterinburg _ about 900 miles east of Moscow _ was connected to U.S. and British involvement in NATO strikes on Yugoslavia.

Russia vehemently opposes the attacks, and anti-western sentiment has been on the rise around Russia. A gunman opened fire at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in late March, but no one was injured.

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