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Belarus dismisses explosions at airfield near Ukraine

Defence ministry, during test run a piece equipment caught fire

11 August, 13:45
(ANSA-AFP) - TRIESTE, 11 AGO - Moscow's ally Belarus on Thursday played down reports of overnight explosions at a military airbase near the border with Ukraine that is said to be used by Russian troops. "On August 10, at around 23:00 (2000 GMT), during a test run, a piece of equipment that had its engine replaced caught fire," the Belarusian defence ministry said in a statement. It added that the fire was extinguished "in a timely manner" and there were no casualties. Earlier, a Belarusian Telegram channel that monitors military activity said "explosions" were heard near the Zyabrovka airfield in southeastern Belarus. "At least eight flashes" were seen in the night of Wednesday to Thursday, it added. Franak Viacorka, a senior advisor to Belarusian exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, said Russian military aircraft are often stationed at the airfield. Zyabrovka is around 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the border with northern Ukraine. The incident comes after a series of blasts at a key military airbase on the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula, which Moscow said were caused by exploding ammunition rather than Ukrainian fire. (ANSA-AFP).

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