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Nord Stream pipe blast WAS sabotage, Swedish investigators say 

Investigators found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday.  Pictured: An aerial image above one of Sweden's surveyed Nord Stream sites

Traces of explosives have been found at the sites of the Nord Stream pipeline explosion, confirming that sabotage took place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday.

Authorities in Sweden and Denmark are investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that connect Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea and have become a hot spot in the Ukraine crisis.

Denmark said last month that a preliminary investigation showed the leaks were caused by powerful explosions.

“The analysis that has just been carried out shows traces of explosives on several of the objects that have been recovered,” prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who is leading the preliminary investigation, said in a statement.

“The investigation is very complex and comprehensive. The ongoing investigation will determine if any suspects can be identified,” he added.

The prosecutor’s office declined to comment further.

Investigators found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday.  Pictured: An aerial image above one of Sweden's surveyed Nord Stream sites

Investigators found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday. Pictured: An aerial image above one of Sweden’s surveyed Nord Stream sites

The gas pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, have been at the center of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe in alleged retaliation for Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow.

Although the pipes were not in service at the time of the damage, they contained gas before they fell victim to the apparent sabotage.

Fingers have been pointed at Russia, whose state-owned energy company Gazprom is the main owner of the pipelines. The Kremlin, however, called the allegations “dumb.” Last month, Russia accused Britain of causing the damage.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in early November that Kremlin intelligence operatives “have data indicating that British military specialists were leading and coordinating the attack.”

“There is evidence that Britain is involved in sabotage…a terrorist act against vital energy infrastructure,” he told reporters. “Such actions cannot be put aside. Of course, we will think about other steps. It definitely can’t be left that way.

His comments came after Kim Dotcom, who ran the Megaupload site before he was convicted of fraud, began circulating a conspiracy theory that former British Prime Minister Liz Truss had texted the secretary of US state Antony Blinken immediately after the attack saying ‘it’s done’.

Nord Stream pipeline explosions in September caused four gas leaks.  While the leaks were in international waters, two of them were in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone and two in Swedish waters.

All four leaks are in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm. Two of the leaks were in the Swedish exclusive economic zone, and the other two in the Danish zone. The two countries are each investigating two leaks

Kim claimed to have learned of the iCloud message from Truss, after it was revealed that Russia had hacked into her phone when she was foreign secretary.

Neither Kim nor Peskov has released the evidence they claim to have seen.

But the accusation represented a new line of attack by Russia against the United States and Britain, which supported Ukraine in its resistance to Putin’s invasion.

London rejected the claims.

In October, footage of a mangled Nord Stream pipeline emerged – three weeks after it exploded. Footage shows 165 feet of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was destroyed or buried under the seabed, following an explosion on September 26.

In videos published by Swedish newspaper Expressen, a massive tear and twisted metal could be seen on the pipeline, 80 meters below the ocean.

Extraordinary footage (pictured) of a mutilated Nord Stream pipeline emerged last month, three weeks after it exploded

Extraordinary footage (pictured) of a mangled Nord Stream pipeline emerged last month, three weeks after it exploded ‘with extreme force’ in an alleged sabotage

Through the darkness, a tench could be seen deep in the seabed where the gas pipeline had been, before the explosions.

The videos showed how more than 165 feet of pipeline is either missing or buried under the seabed, and long tears can be seen on the seabed.

“It’s only extreme force that can bend metal as thick as we see it,” Trond Larsen, drone operator at Norwegian company Blueye Robotics, told Expressen at the time.

Larsen, who piloted the submersible drone that captured the video, also said you could also see “a very large impact on the seabed around the pipe.”

Expressen said the explosions measured 2.3 on the Richter scale.

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