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Russia: 3 US diplomats stopped near explosion area

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign ministry says police stopped three American diplomats trying to enter an area of northern Russia where a secrecy-shrouded explosion at a navy range caused a brief spike in radioactivity levels.

Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday that the Americans, described as military diplomats, were not held in custody after they were stopped a day earlier.

In this grab taken from a footage provided by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM press service, a woman holds roses as she and others gather for the funerals of five Russian nuclear engineers killed by a rocket explosion in Sarov, the closed city which has served as a base for Moscow's nuclear weapons program since the late 1940s. (Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM via AP)
Russia reveals radiation details

The Aug. 8 explosion at the Russian navy's range in Nyonoksa on the White Sea killed two servicemen and five nuclear engineers and injured six others.

She told a briefing that the Americans had received permission to travel to the city of Arkhangelsk, but instead went to Severodvinsk, 30 kilometers (20 miles) to the west, where they boarded a commuter train to a community near the naval range.

Police informed them they were “in a zone of restricted visitation,” she said.

Two servicemen and five nuclear engineers were reported killed in the Aug. 8 explosion.

This late 2018 photo shows an entrance to
Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosion

Russian officials' changing and contradictory accounts of the incident drew comparisons to Soviet attempts to cover up the 1986 explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the world's worst nuclear disaster.

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