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Loud explosions were reported in the Babylon Governorate, south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Friday night. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Loud explosions were reported in the Babylon Governorate, south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Friday night, with escalating fires from a military base. 

Reuters news agency, citing Iraqi security sources, stated that a massive explosion rocked a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) base south of Baghdad. 

The PMF is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization made of approximately 67 different armed factions.

Reuters quoted two sources as saying that the explosion was the outcome of an airstrike of unknown origin that occurred at midnight on Friday.

The strike reportedly targeted the PMF headquarters at the Kalsu military base near Alexandria, 50 kilometers south of Baghdad. Although Iraqi government officials were contacted for comment, none responded, according to Reuters.

An Iraqi Ministry of Interior official confirmed to Agence France-Presse, on the condition of anonymity, that one person was killed and eight others were injured, noting the explosion targeted the PMF armor headquarters, damaging equipment and weapons.

The same source was quoted by AFP as saying that “a fire is still raging and the search for the injured is continuing”.

Quoting an Iraqi security source, CNN stated that the explosions hit an ammunition warehouse at a PMF military base. 

The  American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) quoted a US official denying US involvement in the Babylon explosion. Both US Central Command and the international coalition against ISIS denied involvement in the strikes.

The Security Committee head in Babylon stated initial impressions suggested missile strikes, not drones, caused the Babylon explosions, targeting multiple sites randomly.

The incident occurred during Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani’s visit to the United States and amid heightened regional tensions, following an Israeli attack on the Iranian city of Isfahan.

Israel’s attack was in response to a retaliatory operation carried out by Tehran on April 13, following the flattening of the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus on April 1.


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