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Arms depot explodes in Tripoli, heavy smoke covering city

TRIPOLI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- A navy armory in an eastern suburb of Libya`s capital of Tripoli exploded Saturday afternoon, leaving a blanket of heavy black smoke over the entire city.

Loud explosions occurred in a suburban area in Tripoli and heavy smoke was seen rising from the blasts-hit area.

According to local residents, the explosions-stricken site is an arms depot near a naval base.

No immediate information about the cause or casualties are available.

"The sound of successive explosions is echoing over the city," said a Xinhua reporter. Witnesses said there were six successive blasts in total.

Roads leading to the blasts-hit area have been closed to the public by some armed members of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), who insisted that it was a burning accident on a ship near a port, about 2 km from downtown Tripoli.

But those close to the scene told Xinhua that there were possibilities that the explosions were carried out by the remnant forces of fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi that remained in the capital.

Although Tripoli has seen improvements in security conditions after it was controlled by the NTC since late August, weapons are still in the hands of the civilians, while sporadic gunshots remain a daily routine across the city, especially at night.

Date:2011-9-25 9:14:07     
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