Explosion at Afghan depot kills two, injures 45

A huge explosion ripped through a depot of confiscated munitions in central Afghanistan , killing two people and injuring 45, and damaging scores of houses, officials said Friday.Thursday night's blast ripped through the depot in Jabalussaraj district of Parwan province. The depot contained weapons and ammunition gathered as part of a U.N.-backed program to disarm Afghan warlords.

An Afghan army base is located nearby. Gen. Sher Mohammed Karimi, chief of operations at the Defense Ministry, ruled out sabotage. He said initial investigations indicated the blast was caused by a spark from an electricity cable that crossed over the depot.

Parwan province Gov. Abdul Jabar Taqwa said a soldier and a civilian were killed. He said the wounded included 16 soldiers, but many of those hurt were women living in a neighboring village. He said there was a huge initial explosion, followed by smaller blasts. At least 177 houses were damaged.

Jabalussaraj lies about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the capital, Kabul . Afghanistan is awash with weaponry from a quarter century of war. The United Nations has supported efforts to disarm militiamen across the country, to consolidate the authority of the government and the national army, reports the AP.


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