Sunday, March 4, 2012

Congo-Brazzaville arms depot explosions leave hundreds dead

Series of large explosions kills at least 200 people in Brazzaville and shatters windows across the Congo river in Kinshasa.

At least 200 people have been killed and many more injured in a series of explosions in the capital of Congo-Brazzaville, according to a senior presidency official.

"According to sources at the central hospital we're talking of around 200 dead and many injured," said Betu Bangana, the head of protocol in the president's office in Brazzaville.

The blasts took place on Sunday after a fire started in an arms depot at a military base.

Panic spread from Brazzaville across the Congo river to Kinshasa, where windows were shattered by the force of the blasts. The river separates the former French colony of Congo-Brazzaville from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Both governments called for calm and there was no immediate suspicion of anything but an accident. Congo-Brazzaville is one of sub-Saharan Africa's top oil producers. Read More