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Ukrainian Security Service behind twin train bombings along strategic Russian route, source claims

By Victoria Butenko, Maria Kostenko and Anna Chernova, CNN

(CNN) — Ukraine’s Security Service is responsible for explosions on two trains traveling along a strategic rail route in eastern Russia this week, a Ukrainian defense source claimed Friday.

The first explosion occurred Wednesday along the Baikal-Amur railway as the train passed through the Bessolov Severomuyskiy tunnel in Buryatia, in the eastern Siberia region of Russia that borders Mongolia, the source told CNN.

With train traffic rerouted around the tunnel, the Ukrainian Security Service on Thursday targeted the second train as it passed over the nearby Devil’s Bridge, according to the source.

Both explosions were the result of planted “explosive devices,” the source claimed.

“The Russians have fallen into the SBU’s trap twice,” the source said, using an acronym for the Ukrainian Security Service. The twin bombings were a “special operation to disable this important railroad,” the source added.

“The first freight train exploded directly in the Severomuyskiy tunnel. To maintain the traffic, the Russians began using a detour route through the Devil’s Bridge. This is exactly what the SBU was counting on: as the train was passing over this high 35-meter bridge, the implanted explosive devices detonated,” the source said.

Ukraine has not officially taken responsibility for the attack and the Ukrainian Security Service has not offered an official comment. CNN cannot independently confirm the explosions.

Russia referred to the Wednesday incident as a “cargo train fire.” It did not call it an attack or blame Ukraine. It has not commented on the second incident.

Russian Telegram channels reported news of two train fires in the area. Videos circulated by some Russian telegram channels show wagons on fire along a rail track, although it is not immediately clear which incident the videos are from.

The Ukrainian source said the Russians use the railroad for “military logistics” and characterized the route as “the only major railroad connection between Russia and China.” The targeted trains were carrying fuel, the source said.

After the first explosion, the rail provider said it was working to determine the extent of the damage. There were no casualties in that incident, according to the East Siberian Transport Prosecutor’s Office.

In a statement after the first explosion, the prosecutor’s office said that a prosecutor was in the area to coordinate the actions of law enforcement and supervisory authorities.

Russian authorities “will take response measures based on the results of the inspection, in case there are grounds to do so,” the statement said.

Russian authorities had also confirmed after the first incident that train traffic had been “organized on a detour route with a slight increase in travel time.”

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