Arms depot blasts damage north Cyprus hotel

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Multiple explosions at a Turkish military base in northern Cyprus damaged a hotel in a neighboring holiday resort early Thursday. (AFP)
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There were no casualties reported. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2019
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Arms depot blasts damage north Cyprus hotel

  • Fire broke out in the arms depot at the base in Catalkoy, west of the town of Kyrenia
  • The nearby Acapulco Hotel was damaged in the explosions, as panicked hotel residents were evacuated to a safe area

NICOSIA: Multiple explosions at a Turkish military base in northern Cyprus damaged a hotel in a neighboring holiday resort early Thursday, prompting the evacuation of terrified tourists, officials said.
Fire broke out in the arms depot at the base in Catalkoy, west of the town of Kyrenia, without causing any casualties, police said.
The nearby Acapulco Hotel was damaged in the explosions, which began around 1:30 am (2230 GMT Wednesday) and continued until 5 am.
Panicked hotel residents were evacuated to a safe area.
It was not immediately clear what triggered the blasts. Officials said they had launched an investigation.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci visited the hotel.
“What matters is nobody was harmed, we can handle the rest,” he said.
Emergency services in Kyrenia said the fire had been contained by early morning.
The Kyrenia area on the north coast of Cyprus lies within the breakaway state which Turkish Cypriot leaders declared in 1983 but which remains recognized only by Ankara.
The island has been divided on ethnic lines since Turkish troops occupied its northern third in 1974 following a Greek Cypriot coup sponsored by the military junta then in power in Athens seeking union with Greece.
Turkey continues to maintain a sizeable military presence in the north of the island.


US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

Updated 19 September 2019

US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

  • Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations
  • He blamed the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”

KABUL: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington is taking back $100 million intended for an Afghan energy infrastructure project, citing unacceptably high levels of corruption in the Afghan government.
In the harshly worded statement Thursday, Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations and a maze of transmission lines in southern Afghanistan. It just won’t be spending the money through Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, blaming the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”
This follows an earlier statement, also from Pompeo, calling for “credible and transparent presidential election” when Afghans go to the polls Sept. 28.
The 2014 presidential election was marred by allegations of massive fraud, as was last year’s parliamentary vote.