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By Karine Kalantarian

Law-enforcement authorities were investigating on Wendesday the previous night's mysterious grenade explosion in central Yerevan that wounded a well-known independent journalist.

Mark Grigorian, who is also deputy director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Media Institute, was hospitalized after sustaining serious injuries in the chest and face. Grigorian says the grenade was thrown at him from behind by an unknown man whom he saw running away moments after it exploded. Nobody else was hurt in the blast.

Doctors at the capital's Nor Nork hospital said Grigorian's life is not in danger and he will apparently not need to undergo surgery.

State prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into the attack, describing it as a murder attempt but refusing to speculate on its possible causes. A senior aide to the chief prosecutor in the city's central Kentron district, Gevorg Abrahamian, told RFE/RL that the investigators are now examining several unspecified theories.

Grigorian believes that the attack may have to do with his collection of material for an article on the third anniversary of the 1999 parliament shootings, which he planed to write for a London-based online publication on the Caucasus. Speaking to RFE/RL from hospital, Grigorian said he had already interviewed several relevant persons and was heading for an arranged interview with a senior Justice Ministry official when the blast occurred.

"I was going to write about general things and present different assessments of the case," he said by telephone, adding that he did not uncover any sensational details shedding more light on the 1999 killings.

Military prosecutors investigating the parliament massacre appeared to show some interest in this theory when they visited Grigorian for questioning on Wednesday. Sources in the chief military prosecutor's office said the parliament attack investigators examine any development that might even theoretically be linked to their case.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andranik Markairan said he does not think that the incident was politically motivated. “I have received a report from the Interior Ministry regarding this case. The investigation is now underway and I hope that those guilty will be found and punished,” he said.

The Caucasus Media Institute, which was formed recently to teach local media Western standards of journalism, likewise expressed hope that the authorities will clarify all circumstances of the attack on Grigorian. "We believe that the law-enforcement agencies will save no effort to establish the truth," it said in a statement.

Death threats and violent attacks against journalists have not been common in Armenia.
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