Residents of the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat were frightened on Wednesday afternoon on hearing a tremendous explosion and seeing a huge plume of smoke in the sky.
Videos posted online showed the large mushroom-shaped plume of smoke.
About two hours later, the IDF issued a statement that the blast was a planned and controlled ammunition explosion carried out at an IDF firing zone to dispose of old ammunition. Residents of the area were not notified in advance.
Prior to the IDF’s statement, journalists assumed that the blast was part of an IDF training drill being carried out at a base nearby.
The IDF is currently conducting a wide-scale two-week drill called Firm Hand, simulating offensive and defensive strikes in a war scenario.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)