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Several Reported Injured after Multiple Blasts Rip Through Ammunition Depot in Cyprus (Video)

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Multiple explosions have rocked an arsenal on the northern coast of Cyprus, injuring several people, while a huge blaze has been ravaging the facility.

A fire broke out at the depot in the city of Kyrenia, de facto controlled by the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on Thursday morning. Videos have surfaced online purporting to show it being engulfed by flames.

The sound of helicopters hovering and emergency sirens blaring can be heard in the background. A plume of thick smoke is seen billowing from the site, lightning up the night skies.

The Turkish Cypriot foreign minister, Kudret Ozersay, said on Facebook that the blaze swept through an arsenal located within a “military zone,” and there have been reports of repeated explosions tearing through the facility.

Several people have suffered minor injuries as a result of glass shattering in the first explosion, the minister said. The area around the depot was sealed off, power was shut down, and a nearby village was evacuated as a precaution. Ozersay wrote that the fire had been contained but continues to devour the building from inside.

No deaths have been reported.

The self-proclaimed republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized as an independent state only by Turkey, and is considered to be part of the Republic of Cyprus by the rest of the international community.

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Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October 19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence

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Indonesia’s security minister attacked by man with knife

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Indonesia’s Chief Security Minister Wiranto is conscious and in a stable condition after he was stabbed on Thursday by a man authorities suspect had been radicalized by Islamic State ideology, police said.

Television footage showed the minister slump to the ground beside his car after the attack in Pandeglang, in Banten province, west of the capital on the island of Java.

“His condition is stable and at the moment he is being evacuated to a hospital in Jakarta,” Tomsi Tohir, Banten police chief told Metro TV. A police photograph showed the minister, a former general, being carried on a stretcher into a nearby hospital. The minister had suffered two wounds to his stomach, hospital chief said.  

Police had arrested a man and a woman they suspected were a couple, and seized sharp weapons they were carrying, including knives and a pair of scissors, police chief said.

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Taiwan: China is threating international stability

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has accused China of threatening international stability and pledged for boosting her country’s defence in the face of what Taipei sees as a growing threat from Beijing.

In a televised address to the nation Wednesday, the president stressed the international importance of Taiwan’s democratic values and raised concerns about Chinese infiltration. The remarks are seen as a sign of Taipei’s hardening resistance to Beijing’s opposition to her government.

“The people of Taiwan will never accept any attempt by external forces to unilaterally change the cross-Strait status quo. I am calling on the authorities in Beijing, as a responsible major power, to play a positive role in the region and the world, instead of being a source of conflict,” Tsai said.

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