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A total of 62 people, including 17 children, have been injured
A total of 62 people, including 17 children, have been injured by fireworks in the Russian capital since December 1, the emergencies ministry's main administration for Moscow said on Saturday.

The accidents were caused by improper handling of crackers and fireworks.

Interior Ministry data suggests fireworks have injured about 2,700 people, including some 700 children, all across Russia in the last seven years.

A Pyrotechnics 2007 police operation was held from December 20-30 throughout Russia. Counterfeit fireworks to the tune of 28.5 million rubles ($1.2 million) were seized. Last year's operation seized some 250 million rubles ($10.1 million) worth of unlicensed fireworks.

Moscow has loose laws regulating the public use of fireworks, and this has contributed to the high incidence of accidents involving fireworks, officials say.

A total of 33 fires have been reported in Moscow in the past 24 hours, leaving four people killed and one injured, the ministry said.

New regulations, which came into force on January 1, prohibit the use of fireworks in public places. Violators will face fines of 1,500-2,000 rubles ($60-80).


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