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Three bombs explode in Bratislava; one dead

A car bomb exploded in central Bratislava on August 25, causing damage to other cars parked nearby and to buildings but no injuries, Slovak media reported. The blast occurred in front of an apartment rented by a group of Ukrainians who were not at home at the time. Police refused to give any details about the explosion. Previous car bombings in and around Bratislava have been blamed on disputes between rival criminal gangs. An off-duty policeman died of injuries sustained after setting a bomb, that than exploded early on August 26 at a money exchange booth outside the Kmart department store in central Bratislava, Slovak and international media reported. The 26- year-old policeman died in the hospital. Police said the explosion was not related to the bomb attack of the previous day. The owner of the exchange booth said that his office had been set on fire earlier this summer.

A third bomb went off in the Slovak capital in less than two weeks, destroying a car in Bratislava's Ružinov district on September 3, ČTK reported. No one was injured, but the explosion damaged several cars and shattered the windows of an apartment building. The motives remain unknown. New Interior Minister Gustáv Krajči and Police President Jozef Holdoš on September 4 announced that measures were being prepared to stem the growing wave of bomb attacks. They said the effects should be felt within a few months but gave no more details. Krajči also warned about a drop in police discipline - a policeman is suspected of involvement in the August 26 explosion. So far this year, 15 explosions have taken place in Slovakia, causing damage of almost 3.5 million Sk ($114,000), while 34 explosions were reported last year.

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