Cities and towns across the Republic of Cyprus were shaken by firework explosions and police sirens on Holy Saturday, as Greek Orthodox Christians observed the first celebration of Easter at midnight amid a pandemic lockdown.
Loud noise from countless smoke bombs and firework explosions in the air brought the capital to its knees on Saturday night, as people made use of illegal fireworks at midnight.
Police sirens could be heard in the background, as church bells and loud explosions continued to pierce through dark skies in many neighbourhoods.
Police sirens could be heard in the background, as church bells and loud explosions continued to pierce through dark skies in many neighbourhoods
A male teenager in Engomi was reportedly injured after a firecraker exploded in his hand, while a number of arrests were made in Nicosia and Larnaca and several individuals were briefly detained in Limassol.
People later took to social media to report similar noise in other cities and towns across the Republic, while many locations were spared loud explosions.
Earlier this week, police issued a warning to parents and legal guardians to keep their teens in check, adding that law enforcement officers would be very strict with those engaging in delinquent behaviour.
The tradition of using illegal fireworks during the Easter holidays has been tolerated to a certain extent by Cypriot authorities. But this year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, police said they would not tolerate any violations pertaining to movement restrictions based on government decrees.
Churchgoers were asked to shelter in place and pray at home during the Greek Orthodox holy week, while health officials remained concerned over worshippers violating social distancing rules that could set back all efforts to flatten the curve during the pandemic.
Reports said the commotion began at midnight and started to wind down about an hour later.