Explosion rips through Cyprus military base

Explosion rips through Cyprus military base

A massive explosion has hit military base in southern Cyprus, with reports claiming at least eight people dead.

The blast took place at the Evangelos Florakis navy base in Zygi, between the southern coastal cities of Limassol and Larnaca.

The intensity of the blast caused damage to neighbouring communities and windows and doors of beachside restaurants in the resorts were blown out.

"There are a number of dead which we cannot confirm yet," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said.

It was unclear what triggered the explosion, which news reports said was in a munitions dump. The fire is still not under control.

The island's largest electricity station has been knocked out, causing widespread power cuts, a spokesman for the state-run utility told the Reuters news agency.

The military base had munitions in storage which Cyprus had confiscated from the Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009.

"The place looks like it was hit by a massive bomb," a Reuters witness said.


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