Nine Dead After Explosions at Military Ammunition Depot in Chad’s Capital

N’Djamena, Chad (June 21, 2024) – A fire at a military ammunition depot in N’Djamena, Chad’s capital, triggered a series of explosions late Tuesday night, killing nine people and injuring 46 others. The incident caused widespread panic as the blasts shook nearby buildings and lit up the night sky in the Goudji district.

Government spokesperson Abderaman Koulamallah confirmed the fatalities and the number of injured individuals, who are currently receiving medical treatment. The explosions prompted frantic efforts to contain the fire and led residents to flee their homes in search of safety.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but President Mahamat Deby Itno has assured the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted. He expressed his condolences on social media, saying, “Peace to the souls of the victims, sincere condolences to the bereaved families and quick recovery to the injured.” Deby Itno visited the scene of the explosions and hospitals treating the injured.

Residents initially feared the explosions were part of an armed attack. Local media reported that the blasts, which began just before midnight, were so powerful that they hurled ammunition from the depot and shook nearby buildings. Security forces have since secured the area and are collecting scattered artillery shells.

Allamine Moussa, a local resident, urged the government to provide urgent assistance, noting the devastating impact on the community. “Many families have recorded deaths and it’s sad,” Moussa stated.

The explosions come at a time of political instability in Chad. President Deby Itno, who has faced internal political challenges and regional tensions, particularly over the ongoing conflict in neighboring Sudan, assumed office after his father’s death in 2021. Cameron Hudson, an Africa expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, suggested that the explosions might be a signal to the government amid these tensions.

Chad, a nation of nearly 18 million people, continues to navigate a complex political landscape following a controversial presidential election that resulted in Deby Itno’s contested victory.

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