Sources say blasts hit area near Russian air base, Moscow says no damage done


(Reuters) -At least four explosions hit an area near a major Russian military airport in the annexed peninsula of Crimea on Thursday, three local sources said, but a pro-Moscow official said no damage had been done.

The sources said the blasts occurred in the vicinity of the Belbek base, north of Sevastopol.

The governor of Sevastopol, citing what he called preliminary information, said Russian anti-aircraft forces had downed a Ukrainian drone.

"There is no damage. No one was hurt," said Mikhail Razvozhayev, writing on Telegram.

Footage posted to a Ukrainian news-gathering site showed what appeared to be a rocket being fired into the night sky and the sound of at least two explosions. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the veracity of the footage.

Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, is an important supply line for what President Vladimir Putin calls his special military operation in Ukraine.

Russia on Tuesday blamed saboteurs for orchestrating a series of explosions at an ammunition depot in Crimea. Last week blasts ripped through a Crimean air base, which Moscow at the time said was caused by an accident.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Diane Craft and Daniel Wallis)

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