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Series of blasts rock city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea

 A series of large explosions at a military base rocked the city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday (March 7), according to local media.

It was unclear immediately how many people had been killed or wounded. Television pictures show groups of people pulling bodies from piles of rubble. Some of the bodies were carried away wrapped in bed sheets.

The local TVGE channel is asking for people to donate blood, saying local hospitals are overwhelmed.

Survivors – many of them children – are seen in pick-up trucks at a hospital where some victims are lying on the floor.

In the blast area, iron roofs were ripped off half-destroyed houses and lay twisted amid the rubble.

The Spanish Embassy in Malabo encouraged its nationals to stay in their homes.

The blast comes as Equatorial Guinea, an oil producer, is suffering a double economic shock linked to the coronavirus pandemic and a drop in the price of crude, which provides around three-quarters of state revenue.

(Production: Iona Serrapica/Lucy Marks)

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