ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A powerful explosion at a weapon warehouse run by Shia militias rocked the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Monday, killing one person and wounding 29 others, authorities have reported.
The arms depot belonging to the Hash al-Shaabi militia, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was located inside a federal police base in Doura district, southern Baghdad.
Videos posted on Iraqi social media pages showed thick black smoke rising in the capital as people began to panic.
The warehouse stored short-range and Katyusha missiles, a security source told Reuters.
As the fire intensified, rockets were ignited and launched into the streets, striking several neighborhoods and wounding mostly children, said Qasim al-Attabi, a spokesman for the district’s health directorate.
The injuries of many of the victims were light, and people were quickly discharged from the hospitals, Health Ministry spokesman, Saif Badr, said.
Local Iraqi authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
The cause of the fire is likely to be due to rising temperatures in Baghdad and poor storing conditions for the weapons and ammunition in the warehouse, a security source told Kurdistan 24.
On Monday, the temperature in Baghdad was around 46 Celsius (115 F) around the time of the incident, in the afternoon.
Editing by Nadia Riva