NICOSIA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Twelve people were injured by explosions which rocked a munitions depot in the part of Cyprus controlled by the Turkish army, Turkish Cypriot authorities said on Thursday.
"Thankfully there were no victims, though there are some injured from shattered glass," Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said after visiting the area of the blast near the northern city of Kyrenia.
Eyewitnesses were quoted by local media as saying that the first explosion occurred at 1:30 am, causing a forest fire which was soon put out. However explosions in the Turkish Army Munitions Ordnance depot continues until 5 am.
People living in the immediate region of the blasts were evacuated.
The blasts damaged power lines, causing an extensive blackout.
Turkish Cypriot television stations broadcast a video that showed large blasts and plumes of smoke rising into the night sky over the area.
The blasts caused extensive damage to several buildings adjacent to the ammunitions depot, including a hotel, and caused panic among guests and residents of the area.
The Turkish defense ministry issued a statement saying that the blasts occurred in an ammunitions depot of the Munitions Unit of the army which controls the northern part of Cyprus.
It added that the cause of the explosions has not been established yet.
The Cyprus island has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkey intervened militarily following a coup by Athens-backed Greek Cypriots.