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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 August 2018

Munitions warehouse explodes in Karbala, Iraq

The warehouse belonged to an Iran-backed militia 

A weapons and ammunition warehouse belonging to a pro-Iranian militia has exploded in the Iraqi city of Karbala, security sources told local media.

The store of munitions belonged to the Al Abbas combat group, a faction of the Hashd Al Shaabi, a militia backed by the Iranian government, according to local media.

Firefighters were sent to the scene of the blast, and no casualties have been reported.

The Al Abbas combat division said in a post on Facebook that the explosion was caused by high temperatures. The group said no foul play had been detected.

In another Facebook post, the group said they were setting up committees to establish the extent of the damage to civilians health and property, and to inspect the area to make sure it is free of explosives.

The highway heading into the city was closed as a result of the explosion, local news reported. Video from the incident shows smoke billowing into the horizon.

There were reports of a similar explosion in the north of the country. Explosions of munition piles are common in Iraq, especially if they are poorly stored and in areas of intense heat.

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