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One killed in blast at Iraq Army base housing pro-Iran group

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This picture seize from a UGC video posted on April 20, 2024, reveals hearth and smoke rising within the central province of Babylon after an alleged bombing in a single day on an Iraqi army base housing a coalition of pro-Iranian armed teams.
| Photo Credit: AFP

One particular person was killed and eight wounded in an in a single day explosion at an Iraqi army base housing a coalition of pro-Iranian armed teams, officers stated on April 20.

The full particulars stay unclear hours after the blast hit the Kalsu army base in Babylon province south of Baghdad, the place common Army, police and members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, or Hashed al-Shaabi, are stationed.

It comes days after Iran launched an unprecedented assault on Israel which reportedly responded with a drone strike on the Islamic republic, amid tensions fuelled by the Gaza warfare.

The Iraqi safety forces’ media unit stated “an explosion and a fire” hit the Kalsu base within the early hours of Saturday, leaving one particular person useless and eight wounded.

Air defence command reported “no drones or combat aircraft in the airspace of Babylon province before or during the explosion”, it added in a press release.

There was no instant declare of duty.

Shortly after the explosion, the U.S. army stated its forces weren’t behind a reported strike in Iraq.

“The United States has not conducted air strikes in Iraq today,” U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) posted on social media platform X, including that experiences that American forces had carried out a strike had been “not true”.

The Israeli Army stated it “does not comment on information published in foreign media”.

In a press release, Hashed al-Shaabi stated an “explosion” had inflicted “material losses” and casualties, with out giving a quantity.

The group stated investigators had been despatched to the location.

On Saturday morning, nonetheless, the Hashed issued one other assertion that referred to a gathering between its chief of employees and investigation committees “on the site that has been attacked”.

‘Odious crime’

An Interior Ministry official had initially reported an “aerial bombing” on the location.

“The explosion hit equipment, weapons and vehicles,” stated the supply.

An Iraqi army official, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of sensitivity of the topic, stated the in a single day explosion had occurred in “warehouses storing equipment”.

Responding to questions from AFP, neither the inside ministry official nor the army official might say who might have been behind the alleged bombing.

The Hashed al-Shaabi is an integral a part of the official Iraqi safety equipment underneath the authority of the prime minister.

It brings collectively a number of pro-Iran armed factions, a few of which have additionally carried out dozens of assaults in Iraq and Syria in opposition to U.S. forces deployed as a part of a world anti-jihadist coalition.

“We will retaliate against whoever is behind this aggression,” Hashed commander Abu Alaa al-Walai wrote on X, previously Twitter. “Those involved in this odious crime will pay the price.”

On Friday, strikes blamed on Israel focused a army base close to town of Isfahan in central Iran.

The explosion got here in response to Tehran’s unprecedented assault on Israel final weekend, in retaliation for a lethal strike on Iran’s embassy in Damascus.

Iraq’s international ministry expressed “strong concern” on Friday over the blast in Iran, warning of the “risks of military escalation which threatens security and stability in the region”.

“This escalation must not be allowed to divert attention from what’s happening in the Gaza Strip,” it stated.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani is in Washington, the place he met US President Joe Biden this week.

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