Arms depot explodes in Iraq’s Karabala; no casualties

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) – A weapons depot belonging to the pro-government Hashd al-Shaabi militia exploded in Iraq’s southern Karbala province on Monday, an Iraqi military officer said.

“The explosion has caused a huge fire in the area,” First Lieutenant Salim Abdul Mahdi told Anadolu Agency.

No casualties were reported.

The cause of the explosion remains unclear, but Abdul Mahdi suggested that high temperature might have caused the blast.

He said security forces had shut the main road linking Karbala to the capital Baghdad following the blast.

The Hashd al-Shaabi, a predominantly Shia fighting force drawn up in 2014 to fight the Daesh terrorist group, was incorporated into the Iraqi Armed Forces last year.

Although the paramilitary force has become part of the Iraqi armed forces, many observers see that the Iraqi army has yet to have full control over them as they still subordinate to their [religious] leaders.

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