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Explosions, fire at arms factory in Sudan's capital

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A huge fire broke out after several explosions late on Tuesday at an arms factory in Sudan's capital of Khartoum, witnesses said.

Soldiers blocked roads to the Yarmouk ammunition factory where more blasts erupted as firefighters tried to contain the blaze, said a Reuters reporter at the scene in southern Khartoum. After two hours the fire had been almost extinguished.

The governor of Khartoum state, Abdelrahman al-Khidir, said some people had been taken to hospitals after inhaling smoke but otherwise there were no casualties, according to the state news agency SUNA.

The governor said the cause of the fire and the explosions was unclear, but that nothing pointed to "external" reasons. He told state television the explosion had probably occurred in a storage hall of the huge complex.

In May, Sudan's government said one person was killed when a car exploded in the eastern city of Port Sudan. It said the explosion resembled a blast last year that it had blamed on an Israeli missile strike.

Israel declined to comment on the incident in May, or the 2011 blast, which killed two people. It neither admitted nor denied involvement in a similar incident in eastern Sudan in 2009.

(Reporting by Khalid Abddelaziz and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Michael Roddy and Christopher Wilson)

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