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Casualties Reported As Huge Blast Rocks Armory In Turkmenistan


An explosion at a military armory in the Turkmen city of Abadan has caused major damage and led to a mass evacuation of residents, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

The force of the initial afternoon explosion damaged homes and other buildings near the armory.

Abadan is a city of some 50,000 located about 20 kilometers west of Ashgabat, the capital.

Sources in the city told RFE/RL that soldiers and city residents had been injured in the incident.

Witnesses said military, police, and fire trucks were on the scene but that explosions at the armory continued.

They said thousands of residents were being moved out of the city.

Reports said black smoke was visible in Ashgabat as a result of the explosions.

The armory in Abadan is one of the largest in Turkmenistan.