Chadian residents react after deadly military ammunition depot blast

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One day after a military ammunition depot in Chad’s capital exploded, the neighbourhood next to the depot still bears the marks of the incident.

On Wednesday, nine people were confirmed dead.

Residents of the neighbourhood around the Chadian army’s weapons depot were still in shock.

“The house was destroyed and the boys’ room was set on fire, but nothing was saved, as you can see, it’s like this because of the shells (that hit the house),” a resident named Mahamat said.

Authorities called on residents to stay out of the area, which was taken over by security forces gathering the scattered artillery shells.

Government spokesperson Abderaman Koulamallah said 46 people were being treated for various injuries after the explosions jolted residents from their sleep late Tuesday in the Goudji district of the capital, N’Djamena.

The explosions lit up the sky as thick smoke covered the clouds in the Central African nation, setting off frantic efforts to extinguish the fire as residents fled their homes for safety.

“At one point, we thought it was over for us. We don’t know what happened. There were large caliber weapons everywhere (on the house). All the windows are broken. The glass is shattered. Our things like that. We ask the government to help us. There was a lot of material damage and bodily injuries as well,” Ahmed, another resident said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, and President Mahamat Deby Itno said an investigation would be conducted.

He later visited the scene of the accident as well as hospitals where the injured were being treated.

People living in the area panicked, thinking the explosion was an armed attack, resident Oumar Mahamat said.

Chad, a country of nearly 18 million people, has been reeling from political turmoil before and after a controversial presidential election that resulted in Deby Itno’s victory.

 

Africanews/Hauwa M.

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