At least 15 dead, 400 wounded in Equatorial Guinea blasts

A series of explosions at a military barracks in Equatorial Guinea killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 400 others, state television reported.

State television TVGE read out a statement from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema which said the explosion was due to the “negligent handling of dynamite” in the military barracks located in the neighborhood of Mondong Nkuantoma in Bata. He said that the explosion occurred at 4 p.m. local time.

“The impact of the explosion caused damage in almost all the houses and buildings in Bata,” the president said in the statement, which was in Spanish.

Equatorial Guinea, a tiny West African country of 1.3 million people located south of Cameroon, was a colony of Spain until it gained its independence in 1968.

Health officials said that they believed there were people missing in buildings damaged by the blast.

There were some discrepancies with the death toll, with TVGE reporting 20 dead, a Health Ministry tweet saying 17 were killed and the president’s statement mentioning 15.

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