UPDATE 2 – Fire causes explosions in military zone in N. Cyprus


By Muhammed Ikbal Arslan

GIRNE, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) – Consecutive explosions occurred following a fire in a military zone Thursday in Northern Cyprus's coastal city of Girne.

"A fire broke out in an arsenal within the military zone and there were consecutive explosions in the eastern part of Girne," Kudret Ozersay, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) wrote on Facebook.

Ozersay said he is coordinating with officials from military and police department who are dealing with the situation and he would soon arrive at the scene.

As soon as reliable information is reached, it will be shared with the public, he said.

– People evacuated

There are no fatalities but some people were injured by glass shards that scattered because of the explosions, Ozersay said.

At the moment, the fire is still burning in the arsenal, entries are closed to the area due to the shrapnels, he said, and added that electricity in the region was cut off as a measure.

Ozersay also mentioned that people in the Arapkoy region have been largely evacuated as a precaution, but fire is not spreading.

– Akinci, Tatar arrive at scene

"It is pleasing that there was no loss of life in the explosions that occurred in an arsenal in the military zone in the eastern Girne," President Mustafa Akinci told reporters after arriving at the scene along with Prime Minister Ersin Tatar and Ozersay.

He said there is no reason to worry at the moment and vowed to stay in touch with Turkey and would call for help if necessary.

Akinci also went to the Acapulco hotel to reassure tourist and said those who have flights in the morning would be taken safely to the airport.

Tatar urged calm and hoped the explosions would be soon be stopped.

Stating the importance of not losing any lives, he said the region is under the control.