Deadly blast at Iraq army base amid Israel-Iran tensions

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

The complete particulars stay unclear hours after the blast hit the Kalsu navy base in Babylon province south of Baghdad, the place common military, police and members of Iraq’s Fashionable 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 struggle.

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

Air defence command reported “no drones or fight plane within the airspace of Babylon province earlier than or in the course of the explosion”, it added in a press release.

There was no fast declare of accountability.

Shortly after the explosion, the US navy stated its forces weren’t behind a reported strike in Iraq.

“The USA has not carried out air strikes in Iraq at the moment,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) posted on social media platform X, including that reviews that American forces had carried out a strike had been “not true”.

When reached by AFP, the Israeli military stated it “doesn’t touch upon data revealed in international media”.

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

The group confirmed its premises on the navy base had been hit and that investigators had been despatched to the positioning.

– ‘Odious crime’ –

An inside ministry official had initially reported an “aerial bombing” on the positioning.

“The explosion hit gear, weapons and autos,” stated the supply.

An Iraqi navy 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 gear”.

Responding to questions from AFP, safety sources didn’t say who could have been behind the assault.

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 US forces deployed as a part of a world anti-jihadist coalition.

“We are going to retaliate in opposition to whoever is behind this aggression,” Hashed commander Abu Alaa al-Walai wrote on X, previously Twitter. “These concerned on this odious crime can pay the worth.”

The Hashed issued one other assertion on Saturday morning that referred to a gathering between its chief of workers and investigation committees on the web site of the assault.

On Friday, strikes blamed on Israel focused a navy 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 “robust concern” on Friday over the blast in Iran, warning of the “dangers of navy escalation which threatens safety and stability within the area.”

“This escalation should not be allowed to divert consideration from what’s occurring within 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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