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Russian Jewish leader injured by mail bomb

Police investigators said to suspect blast targeting Mikhail Skoblionok was based on business dispute, not a hate crime

The aftermath of a bomb delivered to the office of Mikhail Skoblionok in Kazar, Tatarstan on October 15, 2018. (screen capture: Twitter)
The aftermath of a bomb delivered to the office of Mikhail Skoblionok in Kazar, Tatarstan on October 15, 2018. (screen capture: Twitter)

A Jewish community leader and well known businessman in Russia’s Tatarstan region was injured Monday when a package he received in the mail exploded in his office, Russian media reported.

Photos and videos posted online by police showed a hole blown through a desk in Mikhail Skoblionok’s office in Kazan, the capital of the predominantly-Muslim state of Tatarstan.

The explosion injured Skoblionok and his assistant, who were being treated for burns and eye injuries at a local hospital, according to reports.

Police told the Interfax news agency that an investigation into the blast had been opened, and that investigators suspect that Skoblionok was targeted due to a business dispute, not in a hate crime.

Skoblionok heads the Federal Jewish National and Cultural Autonomy, Tatarstan’s umbrella Jewish group. His company reportedly sells oil products and is involved in construction projects.

The World Jewish Congress condemned the “evil and sickening” attack on Monday, and urged local authorities to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators as soon as possible.

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