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Indirect fire affects multiple areas of Baghdad following inadvertent detonation at a PMF site

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At approximately 18:50 on 12 August, an explosion was reported in a PMF sector of Camp Falcon, a joint Federal Police and PMF base located in the Abu Dashir area along the southern outskirts of Baghdad city. Reporting suggests a fire at an ammunition cache caused the initial explosion. Secondary explosions affected mortars and 107mm Katyusha rockets stored at the site, with projectiles impacting in the areas of Dora and Za’franiyah in south Baghdad, as well as Jadiriyah in central Baghdad. In a likely precautionary response, sirens were reportedly sounded at the US Embassy in central Baghdad. Civil Defense units responded to the incident and subsequently extinguished the fire.

According to Ministry of Health spokesman Saif Badr and other sources, one individual was killed, and 29 others were injured. The majority were subsequently discharged from hospitals with light wounds. Ministry of Interior Spokesperson Major General Saad Maan added that two Federal Police officers and four PMF members were amongst the wounded. The Ministry of Interior ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

A number of unnamed sources and low-level PMF officials asserted that the explosion at Camp Falcon was the result of an airstrike conducted by unidentified actors. Similar connotations were associated with the recent detonations affecting PMF bases in Salah al Din and Diyala provinces in July, with unnamed diplomatic sources citing that Israeli F-35 fighter aircraft conducted airstrikes against these PMF sites.

However, given the characteristics of the 12 August incident, an inadvertent detonation as a result of high summer temperatures and poor storage conditions for the weapons and ammunition is more likely in this instance. At the time of the detonation, the temperature in Baghdad was around 46 Celsius (115F). Indeed, Iraqi MP Salam al-Shammari stated that the detonation is “clear evidence of poor storage conditions and failing taking into account the constant rise in temperatures.”

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