Iraq: Blasts Reported in Arms Depot Used by Pro-Iranian Militia

A series of explosions at a weapon warehouse run by an Iranian-backed militia rocked Baghdad on Monday evening, killing one person and injuring 29 others

Smoke rises from the explosion site near Baghdad (Screen capture: Twitter)

A series of blasts caused by a fire at an ammunition depot killed one person and wounded 29 people in southern Baghdad on Monday.

The explosions occurred around 7:00 p.m. local time in the Abu Dshir area, south of Baghdad.

Local media reported that the weapons warehouse was controlled by the Sayyid of Martyrs Battalions (Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada), an Iraqi Shi’ite militia group operating under the umbrella of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

The depot, located inside a federal police base in the southern suburbs of Baghdad, stored short-range and Katyusha missiles, a security source told Reuters.

The fire set off some of the rockets which struck neighborhoods several kilometers away and injuring mainly children, said Qasim al-Attabi, a spokesman for the district’s health directorate.

A police source told Reuters that the fire was probably caused by negligence leading to poor storage conditions and high temperatures. The Interior Ministry ordered an investigation.

Iraqi officials earlier said it was an attack on a federal police-military base but several outlets – including Sky News Arabia and Al Arabiya – confirmed it was a PMF warehouse.

Last month, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper said Israeli planes attacked Iranian targets in Iraq twice near Baghdad. One attack targeted a PMF and Iranian rocket storage facility northeast of Baghdad, while a second one struck Camp Ashraf, northeast of Baghdad.

 

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