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Deadly blast rocks military depot in Sahel state

An explosion on Tuesday night reportedly killed at least nine people and injured dozens more in N’Djamena in Chad

An explosion at a military ammunition depot in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, has killed at least nine people and injured more than 40 others, authorities in the Central African state reported on Wednesday. Officials warned that the death toll could rise.

The Sahel state, home to approximately 18 million people, has been plagued by internal conflicts with rebels for decades.

The blast, caused by a fire on Tuesday night near N’Djamena-Hassan Djamous International Airport, also caused significant material damage, Chadian government spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah told reporters.

Koulamallah said 46 people were receiving medical treatment for various injuries, adding that the situation had been brought under control.

On Wednesday, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (ADAC) announced the resumption of flight operations at N’Djamena-Hassan Djamous Airport, which had been suspended following the explosion. Several flights, including a Turkish Airlines plane carrying 58 passengers, were grounded overnight to protect “the physical and material integrity of these fellow citizens and guest passengers,” according to the ADAC.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined. The Associated Press quoted a resident, Oumar Mahamat, as claiming that people living in the area panicked, believing the explosion was an armed attack.

Chad’s president, Mahamat Idriss Deby, has ordered an investigation after visiting the scene of the incident on Wednesday morning, where footage shows ruined cars and twisted metal littering the ground.

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“Peace to the souls of the victims, sincere condolences to the bereaved families and quick recovery to the injured. An investigation will be opened to determine the causes and identify the responsibilities,” Deby said in a statement posted on Facebook.

June 20, 2024 at 02:44PM

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