2 dead in explosion in Moldovan capital

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Two people died Tuesday in an explosion in a grocery shop in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, police said.

Moldova’s chief police officer Alexandru Pinzari said an explosive device detonated after a man entered the shop at 11 am (0900 GMT), took 10 packets of cigarettes from the shop, and refused to pay for them.

As he was leaving, an explosive device fell out of his rucksack and went off. The blast killed him and a man who was on the street outside the shop. Both died immediately.

Pinzari did not name the man. He said he was a resident of the Moldovan capital, born in 1968 and had a criminal record.

Reports said the device was a Soviet-made F1 defensive grenade, a remnant from a war between Moldovans and pro-Russian separatists in 1992 which left 1,500 dead.

The war broke out after Moldova declared independence in 1991. Separatists feared Moldova would seek reunification with neighboring Romania.

Police have sealed off the area. Prosecutors are investigating.

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This version corrects the name of the grenade to F1, instead of fl.

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