NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Fires triggered by an explosion at a munitions depot in breakaway northern Cyprus have been brought under control, Turkey’s defense ministry said Thursday.
In a statement, it said the explosion occurred at a depot under the Turkish army’s munitions command near the port town of Kyrenia at 1:30 a.m. Thursday (1030 GMT Wednesday) and that there were no major injuries as a result of the blast.
Earlier reports suggested that an undetected fire that broke out in the area had triggered the explosion.
Investigators have already launched a probe to determine the blast’s exact cause, the ministry said.
Kudret Ozersay, the foreign minister of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of the ethnically divided island nation, said on Facebook that some people suffered cuts from shattered window panes and that electricity has been cut for those 6 kilometers (4 miles) east of Kyrenia.
Turkish Cypriot media reported that some tourists staying at the nearby Acapulco hotel were treated for minor injuries. Ali Pilli, the Turkish Cypriot health minister told broadcaster BRT that only two people were hurt slightly and were treated by ambulance paramedics.
Transport Minister Tolga Atakan urged caution because the blast spread unexploded ordnance over a wide area.
Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and keeps more than 35,000 troops in the north.
In July, Turkish Cypriot officials said that a Syrian, Russian-made S-200 anti-aircraft missile that missed its target and reached Cyprus around 120 miles away was the likely cause of an explosion outside a village in the breakaway north.