Around Slovakia

Grenade explosion retaliation for police search
Housing estate hit by earthquake
Wheelchairs donated

Grenade explosion retaliation for police search

A grenade that exploded on April 5 in front of a police station in Rimavská Sobota, a town of 25,000 in south-central Slovakia, was an act of revenge. "We think that the grenade was a reaction to the raid last night," said Rimavská Sobota police chief Ján Páleš, commenting on shrapnel that had damaged the front door of the police station, the windows of a neighbouring dentist's office and the windows of a apartment building across the street. The night before, police had searched the Aréna disco club for drugs, detaining three people for possession of various drugs - marijuana, heroin and some synthetic drugs. During the raid ten people were arrested, six of whom had to be taken to the municipal hospital's emergency unit for treatment. "Regarding the people who were arrested, we have dealt with them before. When the raid began, they tried to escape, and refused to listen to police orders. That is why the squad had to use other means to make them do what they were supposed to do," said Páleš, who ordered an investigation into whether the squad had used appropriate tactics. The Aréna disco club had only been open for three weeks before the incident, but had already become known as a drug den. The owner, Milan Megela, said that "[three weeks] is too short a time to get a reputation for drugs." Megela said that the police were very brutal. "Three waiters are now not able to work and our guests were beaten too," he said. A police source who wished to remain anonymous said that the raid was an attempt to try and arrest regional mafia figures, who were supposed to have been in the bar at that time.

Housing estate hit by earthquake

Around lunch time on Easter Sunday, April 12, the aftershock of an earthquake rattled Petržalka, Bratislava's largest suburb. The earthquake's epicenter was in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where the tremor reached 5.5 degrees on the Richter scale. The seismic waves reached Petržalka in about a minute, and were felt by some Petržalka inhabitants, five of whom reported having felt the tremors in their apartments. They described the effects as a slight shaking of lamps, flower pots in windows and other small objects in their aparments. All affected people live on the top floors of taller apartment buildings.

Wheelchairs donated

American volunteers helping out in the reconstruction of Tisovec, in central Slovakia, donated seven wheelchairs to the town on April 6. The first person to use one of them was 72-year old Oľga Bulová, who has been unable to walk on her own for the past two years. "All of these people should be an example to us in their willingness to do good for others," said Bulová in praise of the 22 volunteers, members of the Lombard Lutheran Peace Church, who arranged the wheel chairs through the 'Johny and her Friends' foundation. "Johny broke her back when she was 16, and since then she hasn't been able to walk. Today she is 40 and heads a foundation designed to help provide wheel chairs for people all around the world," said Jan Hussong, one of the volunteers.

Compiled from press reports by Andrea Lörinczová.

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