Cyprus police arrests 20 in explosion protest

Cyprus police say they have arrested 20 people after demonstrators angry at an explosion in which 12 people died tried to breach gates leading to the island’s presidential palace in the capital.

Police said Wednesday that the arrests occurred late Tuesday during a protest over what demonstrators said was official negligence in the explosion of seized gunpowder stored at a naval base.

Police said protesters hurled rocks, flares and molotov cocktails at riot police, who responded with tear gas. Five police officers were slightly injured.

Meanwhile, funeral services for eight of the 12 dead that included the island’s navy chief were held Wednesday.

Monday’s blast also wrecked a key power plant and forced the resignations of the defense minister and the military chief.