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Four blasts rock Ukraine city weeks before Euro 2012 soccer tournament

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET: Four explosions within minutes rocked the center of the eastern Ukraine city of Dnipropetrovsk Friday, injuring at least 27 people in what prosecutors believe is a terrorist attack just weeks ahead of Europe's biggest soccer tournament.

At least nine children were hurt, The Associated Press reported.

The first blast occurred at a tramway stop, injuring five people, while the second injured seven people outside a movie theater, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova told The Associated Press.

She said the third blast wounded three near a railway station and a fourth blast was also heard in the city center but it was not yet clear if anybody was injured.

Along with Poland, Ukraine is to be joint host of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament between June 8 and July 1. Dnipropetrovsk is among the cities that will host major games.

Chris Cole, a 22-year-old teacher from England, told The Guardian: "There was a loud bang that blew my earphones out of my ears," he said. "The first thing I saw was a lady lying on the ground, then another lady came running off the tram screaming, holding her arm. A few people were wandering around confused."

Authorities recently played down the likelihood of terror attacks during the tournament.

The English-language Ukraine Internet site Kyiv Post quoted the Interfax-Ukraine news agency as reporting that the regional prosecutor has opened a criminal case on counts of terrorism.

Al-Jazeera reported that the first explosion was caused by a bomb in a garbage bin. 

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