Explosion Kills Two in Poland Near Ukraine Border, Russian Missiles Suspected

An American official told the Associated Press that a Russian missile intended for Ukraine was behind the blast in the NATO member-state, but the Pentagon responded that it could not confirm the reports. The Russian Defense Ministry denied responsibility for the strike, calling it a 'deliberate provocation' by Poland

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The site of the blast in a Polish border town widely shared by Polish media outlets. American sources say that Russian missiles were behind the blast that killed two people.
The site of the blast in a Polish border town widely shared by Polish media outlets. American sources say that Russian missiles were behind the blast that killed two people.

Two people were killed in an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, firefighters said on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, an American intelligence source confirmed that Russian missiles were behind the explosion. The Polish government has not issued a response to the reports, but Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called an urgent meeting of a government committee for national security and defense affairs, the government spokesman said on Twitter.

The U.S. state department released a statement on Tuesday saying that they are "working to determine what happened regarding Poland and determine appropriate next steps," while the Pentagon said it could not confirm reports that Russian missiles had crossed into Poland. However, some analysts raised the possibility that the explosion was caused by a stray Russian missile aimed at the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

The Russian Defense Ministry released a statement saying that "no strikes against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border have been carried out by Russian weapons," Russian news agency Interfax reported.

"Statements by Polish media and officials about the Russian missiles hitting Polish territory are a deliberate provocation with the aim of escalating the situation," the statement added.

Polish Radio ZET reported earlier that two stray missiles hit Przewodow on Tuesday, killing two people, without giving any more details.

"Firefighters are on the spot, it's not clear what has happened," said Lukasz Kucy, officer on duty at a nearby firefighters' post.

Russia was pounding cities across Ukraine with missiles on Tuesday, in attacks that Kyiv said were the heaviest wave of missile strikes in nearly nine months of war.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who is currently in Indonesia, previously warned that if Russia strikes a NATO member state, it will have far-reaching consequences. "We will defend every inch of NATO land, every inch, so Mr. Putin — don't have any misunderstandings," Biden said last month.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Biden pledged that NATO allies would not hesitate to fulfill their commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which states that an attack on one member will be considered an attack on all member states.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said following the strike that his country "has always warned that Russia's actions will not be limited only to the territory of Ukraine."

Latvian Deputy Prime Minister Artis Pabriks sent condolences to Poland in a tweet. "Criminal Russian regime fired missiles which target not only Ukrainian civilians but also landed on NATO territory in Poland," he wrote. "Latvia fully stands with Polish friends and condemns this crime."

Slovak prime minister Heger said on Twitter that he is "very concerned about explosions in Poland," and that Slovakia "will consult allies about the situation."

The spokesman for the Hungarian government, Zoltán Kovács, said that PM Viktor Orban is expected to convene the defense council of the country - also a member of NATO - following the reports.

Several other NATO member states, among them the Czech Republic and Latvia, also issued condemnations of the attack.

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