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150 injured as balloons explode

Almost 150 people have been injured after clusters of balloons exploded on the central square of Armenia's capital.

An emergency ministry spokesman said 144 people were injured and taken to hospital with burns after the incident in Yerevan, which he said was caused by a smoker who lit a cigarette near the balloons.

The balloons were supposed to be flown at the Republican Party's rally that drew tens of thousands of Armenians.

Health minister Artyom Pushkian said no-one had life-threatening injuries.

Despite the accident, Armenia's president addressed the rally with a speech.

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