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July 24, 2024

Explosion kills 1, injures 8 in Iraqi military base

One person was killed and eight wounded in an overnight explosion at an Iraqi military base housing a coalition of pro-Iranian armed groups.

The explosion hit the Kalsu military base in Babylon province, south of Baghdad, where Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, or Hashed al-Shaabi, is 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 war.

The Iraqi security forces media unit said an explosion and a fire hit the Kalsu base in the early hours of Saturday, leaving one person dead and eight wounded.

Air defence command said in a statement that there were no drones or combat aircraft in the airspace of Babylon province before or during the explosion.

An interior ministry official had initially reported an aerial bombing on the site.

In a statement, Hashed al-Shaabi said an explosion had inflicted “material losses and casualties” without giving a number.

The group confirmed its premises on the military base had been hit and that investigators had been sent to the site.

The security sources did not say who may have been behind the attack.

The explosion came in response to Tehran’s unprecedented attack on Israel last weekend, in retaliation for a deadly strike on Iran’s embassy in Damascus.

Iraq’s foreign 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 said.

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