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Turkey finds ‘mine-like object’ floating off Black Sea

FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker sails through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea in Istanbul
FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker sails through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea July 20, 2012 in Istanbul. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/

March 26, 2022

By Azra Ceylan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish authorities have warned ships to stay away while a dive team inspects a “mine-like object” found floating north of Istanbul near the Black Sea, days after Russia warned several mines were being released from Ukrainian ports had drifted away.

The team secured the object and began deactivating it, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Fishermen first spotted the object near a jetty in the upper Bosphorus Strait – through which the Black Sea drains – and reported it to the Coast Guard, the Directorate-General for Coastal Security told Reuters.

A spokesman for the directorate confirmed a report in the Milliyet newspaper that authorities radioed boats that the object was said to be “shaped like a sphere with horn-like protrusions” and “probably a mine”.

Turkey shares Black Sea borders with Russia and Ukraine, which invaded Moscow last month.

Russia’s top intelligence agency said Monday several mines had drifted into the sea after they severed cables near Ukrainian ports, a claim Kyiv dismissed as disinformation and an attempt to cordon off parts of the sea.

The Black Sea is an important shipping artery for grain, oil and oil products.

(Reporting by Azra Ceylan; Writing by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Barbara Lewis)

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Bobby Allyn

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