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Explosion hits southern Baghdad weapons depot, blamed on heat

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A weapons depot belonging to Iraq’s federal police force exploded on Sunday in Baghdad’s southern suburbs because of high summer temperatures and poor storage, the military said in a statement.

Multiple explosions could be heard in Baghdad on Sunday evening. Security sources said the depot, which is part of a military base used by both the police and paramilitary forces, was one that had caught fire in August last year.

That fire also set off explosions heard across Baghdad, killing one person and injuring 29 others. There were no casualties reported immediately on Sunday.

Iraqi paramilitary groups with links to Iran last year blamed a series of blasts at their weapons depots and bases on the United States and Israel as tension escalated between Washington and Tehran.

The U.S. killing of Iran’s military mastermind Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a missile strike in Baghdad in January raised the threat that Iraq could become a battlefield in a conflict between Washington and Tehran.

Reporting by Baghdad newsroom; Editing by Peter Graff

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