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Six Soviet naval mines found in Azerbaijani sector of Caspian — Defense Ministry

The area is temporarily closed to shipping, the ministry specified

BAKU, May 4. /TASS/. Six naval mines abandoned back in the Soviet era have been found in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian during exploration work at the Umid-Babek block. The area is temporarily closed to shipping, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

"As the local branch of the Umid Babek Operating Company conducted exploration in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, unidentified objects were spotted at a depth of 60 meters. In the Soviet era the area was used as a test site for mine sweepers. Naval ships and specialists were commissioned to examine the area. Six large naval mines KB-1 were found. The mines had been dropped into the sea without observing all mine-laying standards," the news release says.

The Defense Ministry said that the mines would be rendered harmless on May 9 with all safety precautions taken on the condition the weather is favorable. Search operations will continue.

"The area where the mines have been found is temporarily closed to shipping for safety reasons," the news release reads. Civilian works at sea continue as usual.