The Hungarian capital Budapest was rocked by a huge explosion on Saturday.
Two police officers were seriously injured in the blast.
Hungary’s police chief said: “… someone wanted to murder our officers” after police found a home-made nail bomb.
The attack comes just days before Hungary is due to hold a crucial vote on migration.
Police are looking for possible terrorist links and the perpetrator who is still at large.
The Sunday Express reports:
Witnesses described seeing an attacker waiting in a doorway before throwing the explosive device packed with nails at two officers as they passed by the building.
Karoly Papp, Chief Inspector of the Hungarian Police, said: “It was a home-made bomb. Someone wanted to murder our officers.”
Police are searching for a man, thought to be aged 20 to 25 years old,who was wearing a white fishing hat at the time of the incident.
Officers say it is unclear if the suspect is still in Hungary or if he has fled the country.
The authorities have put up a cash reward of £28,000 for anyone who can lead them to the suspect.
As a result of the blast Hungary has strengthened its borders and increased security at airports.
Police said it is still unclear if the explosion was a terrorist attack.
In a press conference, police said they are working on seven possible theories about the incident.
The explosion shattered glass windows and caused panic in the surrounding streets, with scores of emergency vehicles rushing towards loud blast, which witnesses initially believed to be triggered by a gas leak.
— Ashutosh Daga (@onlydaga) September 24, 2016
The police officers found nails in the area and are now investigating reports it may have been thrown at officers by an assailant who fled the scene shortly after the blast.
Officials confirmed that two police officers were injured and were taken to hospital.
Wtinesses described seeing a young female officer with head injuries from a “splinter” while a male officer suffered injuries to his feet.
She is said to be fighting for her life in a critical condition while the male officer is expected to make a full recovery.
— Mikhail D. (@Eire_QC) September 24, 2016
The scene has since been declared safe by security officials, following a huge police presence at Teresa Boulevard in the Oktogon area.
In videos from the scene people appear to have been treated for injuries in the street, however there does not appear to be damage to buildings.
Members of the public described their horror after being evacuated from restaurants as the emergency services continued their work.
One witness said: “I was driving towards the building that time with my son when we heard the explosion.
“I stopped immediately, ran to the building and saw two officers lying on the ground.
“I didn’t know if they were police officers or not, but one of them was calling for help on their radio.
“The police cars arrived to the scene in two minutes.
“The other officer, a young woman, didn’t move, she was covered in dust and she was severely bleeding.”
Another witness added: “The woman was hit by a splinter on her head, and she was bleeding, the man was hit on his feet.
“They were both lying on the ground, upon each other. The man put a hat under the woman’s head to stop the bleeding, but he couldn’t stand up.
“The woman was awake, and when we wanted to help her, the other officer asked us to call for an ambulance instead.
— Jkv (@climbingjonny) September 24, 2016
“That’s when other police officers arrived and asked us to leave the scene.”
A man from a building next door said: “We felt the detonation. I immediately looked out the window, and saw the civil police officers running towards the place of the explosion.
“A few minutes later a lot of police officers, ambulance cars and fire brigades arrived.
“I went down to the street and overheard police officers talking about some bag, and saw a body lying on the ground.
“The wall of the building has came off, and the windscreens of the cars passing by also broke out.”
Other sources said a lot of nails were covering the ground around the area of the explosion.
Twitter user Ilona Vanouplines said: “I heard and felt a really loud #explosion in the city centre of Budapest, a lot of police cars are passing by at Erzsébet krt.”
Critics of hardline prime minister Viktor Orban have claimed that the blast, which struck near a shop in central Budapest at around 10.30pm local time on Saturday evening, was orchestrated by the government to stoke up fear in the days before the key vote.
The explosion comes just a week before Hungarians go to the polls in a nationwide referendum that will set the direction of the country’s migration policy.
Mr Orban has been a vocal opponent of immigration into Europe and is urging voters to reject EU quotas for resettling migrants in Hungary in a referendum next Sunday, arguing immigration increases security risks.
Hungary has seen only a trickle of migrants since it sealed its southern border with Serbia with a razor wire fence last year.
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