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Turkey says second mine found floating off its coast

ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkey yesterday said a second mine which could have come from Ukraine was discovered off its coast near Bulgaria, adding that experts had been sent to defuse it.

Russia had warned more than a week ago that some aged mines that Ukrainians had deployed in the Black Sea against its invading troops had become dislodged from their cables by storms and could drift as far as the Straits of Bosphorus and the Mediterranean Sea.

Yesterday, the Turkish Defence Ministry tweeted that “A mine was detected off Igneada near the Bulgarian border” on the Black Sea.

“The mine has been secured… and an intervention launched to neutralise it,” it said.

A first mine was found on Saturday and defused by the Turkish navy, after a fisherman had reported seeing it about two kilometres off Rumelifeneri, on the entrance of the Bosphorus north of Istanbul.

Ankara has spoken to Ukrainian and Russian authorities to follow up “coordination on this subject”, Turkey’s defence minister said on Saturday.

In its warning on March 19, Russia’s FSB security service said that “dilapidated” mines that Ukrainians had deployed against its forces had broken from their cables and were floating in the Black Sea.

Several days ago, Turkish authorities warned on the NAVTEX maritime alert system that there was a risk of mines floating from Ukrainian waters after being dislodged from their anchors by a storm.

Underwater mines normally have to be equipped with systems that render them harmless if they break free from their anchors.

But older mines could lack this safety measure, Turkish media reported.

Turkish Navy’s Aydin class mine hunting vessel TCG Akcakoca sails in the Bosphorus. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
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