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Blast at Libyan arms depot kills 40

29 November 2013

At least 40 people were killed on November 28 in an explosion at a weapons depot at Brak al-Shati in southern Libya, according to news agencies. A nearby hospital said it was treating many others who were injured in the incident. Al Jazeera said casualties could rise further as the depot was still on fire and people might be trapped inside.

State television reported that African immigrants were among a group of civilians who had stormed the depot in an attempt to steal the ammunition so they could remove its copper, whose value has soared in recent years.

General Mohamed al-Dhabi told Agence France-Presse  that "a group of unknown people tried to attack the depot, causing this unfortunate incident".

Security officials said the explosion happened in a storeroom housing tank ammunition at an airbase.

Libya's nascent military is struggling to secure military bases and curb Islamist militants, militias and gangs who fought in the uprising against Gaddafi but refuse to disarm and control parts of the country.

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