27 Jun 2019 19:32

Army unit where ammo exploded will be redeployed from Arys to safe place - Labor Minister

NUR-SULTAN. June 27 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan's Labor and Social Security Minister Berdibek Saparbayev has announced that the army unit where ammunition exploded will be transferred from the town of Arys.

"At presidential instructions a commission is tackling issues of redeploying the army unit from the town of Arys to a safe place," Saparbayev said at a Thursday meeting with residents of Arys temporarily accommodated in Shymkent.

"The main task is to prevent the repetition of the tragedy in the future. The environmental situation should not be overlooked either. I ask you to be patient, the situation will normalize in the nearest future," he said.

Saparbayev reminded his audience that the country's president personally oversees the reconstruction in Arys and called on it not to believe rumors and not to give in to provocations.

"The government has been duly instructed. All the necessary funds are being assigned for the repairs and restoration of the town, social facilities, housing and engineering infrastructure. I ask you not to give in to any provocations or believe rumors. The government and the local authorities are doing everything necessary," the minister said.

A fire broke out and munitions detonated in the premises of army unit No. 44856 stationed in Arys in the morning of June 24. The regional authorities declared a state of emergency and evacuated the town, which has a population nearing 45,000. According to the latest updates, more than 160 people were hurt and three died.

On Thursday the evacuated residents of the town rallied in Shymkent demanding resettlement from Arys.