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Cyprus

Memorials held on 6th anniverary of Mari blast 

File photo - Memorial ceremony for the 13 Mari victims (photo: Christos Theodorides)

Ministers and other state officials on Sunday attended memorials for the victims of the 2011 Mari blast that claimed the lives of 13 men.

Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots, who attended the memorial of Sergeant Vasilis Krokos in Nicosia, said that the government would never again allow something like that to happen.

“The promise that we have to give to both Vasilis and our 12 other heroes and their families, as well as our own society, is that as a state, collectively and in a coordinated way, we will do everything so that such a great failure of the bodies and mechanisms of the state will never happen again,” Photiou said.

Seven sailors and six firemen died on July 11, 2011 in a blast caused by munitions haphazardly stored at the Evangelos Florakis naval base. The munitions, stored in 98 containers, had been confiscated in 2009 from a Cyprus-flagged ship en route to Syria. They were then stacked in an open space at the base and left exposed to the elements until the day of the explosion, despite repeated warnings about the risks.

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