Iraq: One dead, 8 injured in blast at pro-Iran militia's facility

by IANS |

Baghdad, April 20 (IANS/DPA) An explosion at a military base of a powerful Iran-allied militia in Iraq left one militiaman dead and eight others injured, the Iraqi army reported on Saturday amid reports that the facility came under airstrikes.

The casualties resulted from a blast and a fire early Saturday at Camp Kalsu in the province of Babil in Iraq, housing premises of the Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the Security Media Cell added, according to Iraq's official news agency INA.

A committee has been formed to investigate the cause of the blast and fire, it said, citing initial findings ruling out that military action was behind the incident.

However, an Iraqi security official earlier said the Kalsu base had been struck by missiles or drones.

The attack triggered a fire in the site that houses brigades of the PMU and Iraqi security forces, Babil security committee chief Muhaned al-Enazi added in televised remarks.

"The fire was put out. An investigation is underway to determine if the attack was carried out by drones or missiles, and who stands behind it," the official said.

The purported attack came a day after a suspected Israeli strike in the Iranian province of Isfahan, home to some of the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

A pro-Iranian militia grouping accused Israel of being behind the alleged attack in Babil.

The self-styled Islamic Resistance in Iraq Saturday claimed to have fired drones at a "vital target" on the southern Israeli coastal town of Eilat in response to the attack.

The Israeli military did not comment.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq is an umbrella group for pro-Iranian militias operating together under this general name since the war in the Gaza Strip broke out in October last year.

The grouping has also repeatedly claimed hitting US bases inside Iraq and Syria with drones and missiles.

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