July 1, 2019 / 2:16 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Unidentified object crashes in northern Cyprus, no casualties - minister

(Updates location in headline)

July 1 (Reuters) - An unidentified object that may have been a missile crashed north of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, early on Monday, but no one was hurt on the ground, an official in the breakaway state of Northern Cyprus said.

Officials were studying debris at the crash site in the Tashkent area, according to a statement on Twitter by Kudret Ozersay, foreign minister of Northern Cyprus, a breakaway state recognised only by Turkey.

“According to information I received from our military sources, the cause of the accident that occurred tonight was not ... a helicopter or one of our similar vehicles,” Ozersay wrote on Twitter. “Our soldiers, police and firefighters are carrying out inspections and responding at the site.”

He said it was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

“Initial findings indicate the object that caused the explosion was either an aircraft carrying explosives or a direct explosive (missile). The writings and signs on the debris will allow us to understand exactly what happened soon.” (Reporting by Michele Kambas and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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