August 12, 2019 / 7:51 PM / 5 days ago

Blasts from Iraqi militia weapons depot kill one, injure 29

A man inspects the damage at a mosque near a weapons depot of an Iraqi militia group, after a fire broke out in the depot, in Baghdad, Iraq August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A large fire broke out on Monday at a weapons depot run by an Iraqi militia group, causing explosions heard across Baghdad, killing one person and injuring 29 others, authorities said.

The depot, run by a militia group under the umbrella of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, was located inside a federal police base in the southern suburbs of Baghdad.

The facility stored short-range and Katyusha missiles, a security source told Reuters.

The fire set off some of the rockets which struck neighborhoods several kilometers (miles) away and injuring mainly children, said Qasim al-Attabi, a spokesman for the district’s health directorate.

Health Ministry spokesman Saif Badr said most of the wounded were discharged from area hospitals with light wounds.

A police source said the fire was probably caused by negligence leading to poor storage conditions and high temperatures. The Interior Ministry ordered an investigation.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Alison Williams

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