Car blast in Moldova kills national tennis chief

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 07, 2011 9:14 AM
Car blast in Moldova kills national tennis chief

CHISINAU (Reuters) - The head of Moldova's tennis federation died of wounds sustained when a parked car blew up on Tuesday in the center of the capital Chisinau as he walked by, police and doctors said.

The explosion took place outside the federation's headquarters in an area of the city close to several government buildings and the headquarters of the state security service.

Igor Turcan, federation president, was taken to hospital where he died from serious injuries, Liviu Vovc, the head of Moldova's emergency rescue service, told Reuters.

Interior Ministry spokesman Chiril Motpan said the cause of the explosion had not been established though a gas cylinder in the car may have exploded.

A senior federation official, however, said a deliberate attempt on Turcan's life could not be ruled out.

"The explosion happened just as the tennis federation's president had parked his car and was walking to his office," said federation vice-president Marina Tauber.

Apart from his post at the tennis federation, Turcan headed a campaign effort for an independent candidate in last weekend's election for Chisinau mayor.

He sustained wounds to his body and legs, doctors said.

The former Soviet republic, which has borders with Ukraine and European Union member Romania, is one of the poorest states in Europe, but bomb attacks which have been a feature of daily life in many post-Soviet states are relatively unknown.

(Reporting by Alexander Tanas; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)