Congo-Brazzaville soldiers tried for Mpila depot blast

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A soldier looks at a destroyed building at the military barracks in the Mpila district of Brazzaville on March 5, 2012Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Hundreds of homes were destroyed in the explosions

Twenty-three soldiers have gone on trial in Congo-Brazzaville over a 2012 arms depot explosion which killed at least 240 people.

The soldiers have been charged with arson and harming state security.

They appeared in a packed court room amid tight security, reports the AFP news agency.

The Congolese government was criticised for allowing a large number of munitions to be stored in the densely populated Mpila residential area.

More than 2,300 people are thought to have been injured in the blast, which also destroyed hundreds of homes, leaving thousands needing shelter.

The wife of one of the defendants, Colonel Marcel Tsourou, says the charges against him are political, AFP reports.

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