Huge explosion hits ammunition depot near military air base in Iraq's Salahudin

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-21 04:01:43|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A huge explosion at an ammunition depot occurred on Tuesday at a paramilitary Hashd Shaabi camp near an air base in Iraq's central province of Salahudin, a security source said.

At least two paramilitary Hashd Shaabi members were killed and five others were wounded by the explosion that occurred near Balad Air Base, some 80 km north of the capital Baghdad, Munaf al-Khazraji from the federal police told Xinhua.

The explosion was followed by many explosions at the camp, which is said to belong to Hezbollah Shiite militia, according to al-Khazraji.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blast, but it triggered stored rockets that landed into the nearby Balad air base, where U.S. military personnel and experts are stationed, al-Khazraji said, without giving further information.

A brief statement on the Defense Ministry's Facebook page said Minister Najah al-Shammari arrived at the scene of the blast.

In a telephone call with the state-run Iraqiya channel, he assured that the situation was under control and an investigation into the incident will be underway.

Last week, one person was killed and 29 others were wounded when a huge explosion hit an ammunition depot at the Falcon military base in southern Baghdad, where Hashd Shaabi members are also stationed alongside Iraq's federal police units.

The explosion prompted Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who is also commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, to order that all military flights including reconnaissance aircraft be prohibited from using the Iraqi airspace without his permission, in addition to the relocation of all ammunition depots, including those of the Hashd Shaabi units, to areas outside the cities.