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Fire guts munitions store in Giada barracks leaving 8 injured

At least 8 people were injured in the fire that gutted the munitions store belonging to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in Giada military barracks.

Lul Ruai Koang, the SSPDF spokesperson said on Sunday that the cause of the fire that broke out at around 12 AM on Sunday night at the munitions store of Giada military barracks in Juba is suspected to have been ignited by hot weather.

“In the last three days, Juba has been very hot with temperatures going to around 40 degrees Celsius, some of the weaponry system, some of the rounds we have do not go together with very hot temperature,” Koang told journalists in Juba.

“We have registered 8 casualties that got injured, 6 servicemen got injured by shrapnel, two civilians were also wounded, a six month old girl and a woman that was pregnant were injured,” he disclosed.

Koang said that several ammunition shells and rounds including missile systems were destroyed in the fire.

“There was no fighting, it was just an explosion, nothing else, it must have been ignited as a result of extremely hot weather,” he said.

 Koang said that the ministry of defense and veterans affairs will take care of the treatment of the wounded civilians.

He said that the civilians have encroached upon the land where the Giada military barracks is situated.

Koang also disclosed that the minister of defense and veterans affairs Chol Thon Balok has appealed to the government of the 10 states as well as three administrative areas to consider providing enough land to accommodate the unified forces away from civilians.

 “Military area is dangerous because of the nature of our equipment, SSPDF general headquarters would like to appeal to civilians that have encroached on our facilities to reconsider their position and relocate to safe areas,” Koang said.

He also said that the army will in a long- run build modern arms depot in Juba with proper cooling system.

A similar incident happened in June 2023, when fire sparked by dangerous ordnance gutted the SSPDF Division Four headquarters in Unity State, leaving 15 people including 5 civilians injured.

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