Deadly blast at Iraq army base amid Israel-Iran tensions

Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces, an official security force, said its command post at Kalso military base about 50 km south of Baghdad was hit by a huge explosion late on Friday, and two security sources said it resulted from an air strike.

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

The explosion hit the Kalsu military base in Babylon province south of Baghdad, where Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), 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 reported "no drones or combat aircraft in the airspace of Babylon province before or during the explosion", it added in a statement.

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.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Responding to questions from AFP, the security sources did not say who may have been behind the attack.


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