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Fire causes blasts at Turkey military zone near Syria: Reports

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo purportedly shows a fire near a NATO base in Izmir, Turkey, on July 25, 2016.

A large fire has erupted at a military zone in Turkey’s southern province of Kilis, near the Syrian border, triggering small blasts as it spread to a nearby ammunition depot, media report.

According to a statement by the provincial governor’s office, the blaze broke out in a temporary military base on the outskirts of the south-central province due to a yet unknown cause early on Thursday.

The fire sent black plumes of smoke above the site, which is located some two kilometers from an organized industrial zone near the provincial capital, Kilis.

According to the state-run Anadolu News Agency, the statement added that the blaze also triggered small explosions as it reached a nearby ammunition depot, making 10 soldiers suffer mild smoke inhalation.

The incident halted traffic on a highway in the area as firefighters worked to contain the raging flames despite blasts.

The military quarters where the blaze erupted are on the highway connecting Kilis and the region’s largest city, Gaziantep.

Back in July 24 last year, a massive fire broke out in the vicinity of a NATO military base in an area straddling the Sahintepe and Mevkiinde districts in Turkey’s western city of Izmir. Some news outlets at the time speculated that the fire might have been an act of “sabotage.”

The speculation was particularly strengthened amid a Turkish crackdown on people deemed involved in a botched coup, which had been carried out nine days earlier.

The Thursday blaze also occurred some two days prior to the first anniversary of the failed coup.

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