NEWS

Officer is 13th victim of Cyprus blast

A 19-year-old member of the Cypriot National Guard who was badly mutilated in Monday?s explosion at a munitions depot near the southern resort of Larnaca on Wednesday became the 13th victim of the unprecedented blast after he was declared brain-dead.

Eight of the other 12 victims were buried on Wednesday as an investigation revealed that several high-ranking military officials had expressed concern about the risks posed by the 98 containers of gunpowder and other munitions being stored at the military base.

Cypriot Attorney General Petros Clerides said that those found responsible would be charged, adding that the investigation would be swift.

The explosion also caused 2 million euros? worth of damage to hundreds of houses, including many Turkish-Cypriot homes, within a 5-kilometer radius of the munitions depot.

Meanwhile police said they were questioning two of the 20 people detained late on Tuesday during a protest over the fatal blast outside the official residence of Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias in Nicosia. The other 18 were freed.