Seventeen Chinese soldiers were killed in an explosion that occurred while storing ammunition in an armory in central China, state media reported Wednesday.
The incident took place in a military warehouse located in the suburbs of the city of Hengyang in Hunan province on Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said. According to Associated Press, a police official from Hengyang said, while confirming the news, that no civilians were hurt in the accident.
Although Xinhua's report called the explosion an accident, it also said that the cause of the blast was being investigated, as Chinese forces have, in recent years, come under attack from militants from the country's restive northwestern region of Xinjiang.
According to reports, the military in China, which is one of the world’s largest and most secretive, usually restricts broadcasting information about such incidents.
Hengyang is the second largest city in Hunan province, which is located in the south-central part of the country.