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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-07-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Thousands of Cypriot citizens gathered Tuesday evening at the Eleftheria Square in down town Nicosia to pay tribute to the twelve men, who lost their lives during the massive explosions at the Naval Base ``Evaggelos Florakis`` near Limassol, on Monday.

    The crowd lit a candle to the memory of the twelve victims as a token of support and sympathy to the victims` families and friends. According to the Police, around 3,000 gathered at the Square.

    They also protested against the governments handling of the incident and demanded justice and punishment for those responsible for the tragedy.

    People of all ages, holding banners that said Shame on you, Criminals, State: Killer of your children and Christofias resign, demanded the immediate prosecution of those responsible by the Attorney General.

    Next to the candles a stage was set up where citizens took the floor to express their sympathy and support to the families of the victims as well as their anger for the handling of the case by the government and the state.

    The names of the twelve victims were read out loudly and a minutes silence was held.

    The crowd sang Cyprus national anthem and made their way to the Presidential Palace in a slow march.

    Some protestors stormed the first Palace gate but were prevented from moving further by a strong riot Police presence. Troublemakers started throwing stones and flaming torches against the Palace gates. Police fired tear gas against the crowd, including peaceful protestors, old people, women and children.

    Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told CNA that the Police had arrested twenty people outside the Presidential Palace while five others were arrested in Limassol for carrying 24 flaming torches.

    Katsounotos denounced the violence on behalf of around 300 troublemakers saying that they exploited the situation and the peaceful demonstration of 3,000 others. Some policemen were wounded during the clashes.

    He also said that demonstrations took place in other cities as well but ended peacefully.

    On Monday, twelve people were killed, namely six firemen, four National Guard members and two sailors, by the huge blasts at the ``Evaggelos Florakis`` Naval Base near Limassol, which rocked nearby communities and caused extended damage to nearby villages and destroyed Cyprus` main power plant at Vassiliko, situated near the Naval Base.

    The blast occurred in the containers, full of gunpowder, which Cyprus had confiscated from ``Monchegorsk``, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009.


    The funerals of 8 out of 12 victims who were killed when seized containers of gunpowder exploded on Monday, at the Naval Base Evaggelos Florakis, in Zygi, will be held today in Limassol and Larnaka.

    The names of the deceased persons whose funerals will take place today are Captain Andreas Ioannides, Commander of the Navy, Commander Lambros Lambrou, Commander of the Naval Base, Warrant Officer Kleanthis Kleanthous, Firemen Vassilis Krokos, Panayiotis Theofilou, Adamos Adamou, Spyros Ttantis and Chief fireman Georgos Yiakoumi.

    The funerals of those killed will be held at public expense.


    Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides has expressed optimism that the generators arriving in Cyprus and measures to save energy, the void left by the destruction of the island`s major power plant in Vassiliko, as a result of the shock wave from the deadly explosion of munitions at the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base near the coastal town of Limassol, could be addressed.

    Paschalides is continuing contacts to secure generators from abroad, which would be connected to the network of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), after Vassiliko, which produced over half of the island`s energy, screeched to a halt.

    Speaking after meetings, Paschalides said technicians from Greece and the EAC are already at Vassiliko to determine how the generators coming from Greece could be installed.

    ``Work is already underway in Greece to disconnect some generators and send them to Cyprus the soonest possible, Paschalides said, adding that any time now they would be loaded onto airplanes or ships.

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