Turkmenistan: Human Rights Activists Say Death Toll Climbing from Explosion
Six days after the explosion of an ammunition depot in Abadan, Turkmenistan, residents cannot get answers from the authorities about their relatives, feared killed in the multiple blasts. They can still hear rockets exploding, but they're told this is just soldiers detonating any unexploded ordnance they find, Turkmen blogger Serdar Aytakov reports..
With the government providing only minimal information, and with communications not restored and mobile phones and Internet deliberately blocked, it has been extremely difficult to get valid information from the area. The news vacuum has fueled fears and rumors, and also prompted great acts of courage as citizen journalists have taken enormous risks to go in and get the story as best they can.
Yesterday, the independent émigré website chrono-tm.org published reports, said to be from reliable sources and based on eyewitness accounts, that the number of victims from the town of some 50,000 people could be as high as 1,382, a third of them children.
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