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Hundreds Evacuated in Russia Ammunition Depot Fire

MOSCOW -- A fire at a Russian army munitions depot injured two soldiers and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people living in the vicinity, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday.

The blaze hit an artillery shell storage facility in Far Eastern Primoriye province, 6,500 kilometers from the capital Moscow and close to China's eastern Manchuria border.

No attempt to extinguish the fire would be made until the artillery rounds ceased exploding, said Emergency Situations Ministry officials.

Detonating ammunition was audible a dozen kilometers away from the storage site in the village of Sungach, a ministry statement said.

The two victims were soldiers working at the base. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries, Interfax reported, citing an army spokesman.

Authorities ordered the evacuation of four villages in the vicinity. Close to 2,000 people were affected by the order, and some people awaiting evacuation were being sheltered in schools, the statement said.

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