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Chad’s main military weapon depot explodes weeks after junta hands over

Chad’s main military weapon depot explodes weeks after junta hands over

A heavy explosion at Chad’s military weapon depot in its capital N’Djamena has left an unknown number of people dead and many injured.

Abderaman Koulamallah, the country’s foreign minister, confirmed the incident which happened on Tuesday evening. He said the blast happened at a military depot in the Goudji area of the capital, N’Djamena.

President Mahamat Idriss Déby sent his condolences to the victims and their families, without specifying the number of casualties.

Read also: Deby Itno sworn in as Chad president three years after military rule

“Peace to the souls of the victims, sincere condolences to the grieving families and a speedy recovery to the wounded,” Deby wrote on Facebook, promising to open an investigation into the fire.
The weapons depot in Goudji is the country’s main military depot and is in the north of the city near the military headquarters, a French army base and the airport.

A resident told the Reuters news agency that he saw three wounded people on the street, while another said his neighbour was killed.

“Loud blasts woke us up,” Moustapha Adoum Mahamat said.

“Our house was shaking as if someone were shooting at us. Then we saw a big fire at the military camp and smoke and things exploding in the air,” he said.

“We could see artillery flying over us.”

Mr Koulamallah, the foreign minister and government spokesman, urged the public to remain calm after the explosions.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, and the president has promised an investigation.

In February, after many people were murdered in clashes near the nation’s internal security agency, heavy gunfire was heard in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, near the headquarters of an opposition group.

Read also: Two Boko Haram commanders surrender to military in Lake Chad

Tensions were high in N’Djamena ahead of a presidential election scheduled for May and June, which might restore constitutional authority to the Central African state, which was overthrown by military rulers three years prior.

on May 23, Mahammat Idris Deby Itno was sworn in as the country’s president, after seizing power for three years throwing the country into military rule. The 40-year-old was sworn in after the long-delayed May 6 election which was disputed and characterised by irregularities. Deby Itno took power after his father Idriss Deby Itno was killed fighting rebels in 2021 having ruled the country for 30 years.