Baghdad rocked by arms depot 'chain explosion'

Baghdad rocked by arms depot 'chain explosion'
2 min read
02 September, 2016
Video: Three explosions rocked the Iraqi capital on Friday morning, with security officials confirming at least two deaths.

At least two people were killed when multiple explosions rocked northeastern neighbourhoods of Baghdad on Friday, police said.

Eleven others were wounded in what is believed to be three explosions across the capital. It is not clear whether the incident was the result of an accident or an attack.

Rockets hit three areas near the vast Shia neighbourhood of Sadr City, seemingly launched accidentally after an arms depot exploded in the Obaidi area.

The storage belongs to one of the paramilitary groups of the Popular Mobilisation Force taking part in the battle against Islamic State, the spokesman said, according to Reuters.

"We have two killed and 11 wounded so far," a police colonel said.

Social media users posted images online showing smoke rising over the Obaidi neighbourhood in Baghdad.

The blasts came as tens of thousands of Shia pilgrims from across Iraq and abroad converged on the Kadhimiyah shrine in Baghdad to commemorate the death of Mohammed al-Jawad, the ninth Shia imam.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosions but all recent suicide operations in Iraq have been claimed by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, which has stepped up attacks on security forces and the country's Shia majority in recent months as it has suffered a string of battlefield setbacks.

Last week, at least 18 people were killed in a suicide attack at a wedding in the Iraqi oasis town of Ain al-Tamer, southwest of Baghdad, local officials said.

The attack was carried out by five attackers armed with suicide vests, rifles and grenades, according to Qais Khalaf, the head of the central Euphrates operations command.

"They were carrying Kalashnikovs, hand grenades. One of them blew himself up and the others were killed by the security forces," he said.