Thousands of Ukrainians evacuated their villages this week when a fire at a military arsenal touched off four days of continuous explosions. With bombs and grenades popping and hissing, shrapnel and shells showered down on a 12-square-mile area. Defense Minister Yevheniy Marchuk said blazes are a risk at other Soviet-era artillery depots, because too much ammunition has been packed into small spaces. Last fall, a similar accident set off 1,700 tons of explosives, and the resulting fire consumed 120 houses, five schools, and three hospitals.
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