US denies carrying out airstrikes in Iraq after explosion at military base

Conflicts 16:40 20.04.2024

Iraqi military say it is investigating the cause of explosion at Kalso military base
The Iraqi military said a technical committee was looking into the cause of an explosion and fire at the Kalso military base, which it said happened at 1am on Saturday (10pm GMT/11pm BST Friday), reports Reuters.

A huge blast at the military base in Iraq early on Saturday killed a member of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) and injured eight others, according to a ministry of interior official (see 08:47 BST). Per Reuters, the force commander said it was an attack while the army said it was investigating and there were no warplanes in the sky at the time.

Two security sources had said earlier that an airstrike caused the blast at Kalso military base about 50 km (30 miles) south of Baghdad.

According to Reuters, the PMF said in a statement that its chief of staff Abdul Aziz al-Mohammedawi had visited the location and “reviewed the details of the investigative committees present in the place that was attacked”.

“The air defence command report confirmed, through technical efforts and radar detection, that there was no drone or fighter jet in the airspace of Babil before and during the explosion,” the military said in a statement.

The US military’s Central Command (Centcom), in a post on X early on Saturday, denied what it said were reports that the US had carried out airstrikes in Iraq.

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