Injuries and ‘material losses’ after explosion at Iraq military base

World

Injuries and “material losses” have been reported after a large explosion at a military base in Iraq.

The cause of the blast – at the Kalsu facility in the city of Babylon – is currently unconfirmed

However, two security sources told the Reuters news agency an air strike from an unknown source was to blame.

A US official said it wasn’t caused by American military operations.

The base is used by Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella group of dozens of armed groups, and is home to its chief of staff and shields directorate.

A PMF statement said: “An explosion occurred at the headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Forces at the Kalsu military base in the Al-Mashrou district on the highway, north of Babil Governorate.

“An investigation team immediately arrived at the scene, and the explosion caused material losses and injuries. We will provide you with the details once the preliminary investigation is completed.”

Footage from a car shows a fire in the distance followed by a large explosion that appears to launch bright fragments into the sky.

The base is about 30 miles (50km) south of Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Phone footage showed a large cloud of smoke
Pics: Popular Mobilization Forces of Iraq
Image:
Pics: Popular Mobilization Forces of Iraq

The explosion comes a day after Israel hit back at Iran, with air defences launched from an Iranian airbase and a nuclear site near the city of Isfahan.

Three drones were reportedly hit but there were no reports of damage or casualties.

It followed last week’s unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel by Iran – itself retaliation for a strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria.

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