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Blasts from Iraqi militia weapons depot injures 14

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A large fire broke out on Monday at a weapons depot run by an Iraqi militia group, causing explosions heard across Baghdad and injuring 14 people, authorities said.

The depot, run by a militia group under the umbrella of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, was located inside a federal police base in the southern suburbs of Baghdad.

The facility stored short-range and Katyusha missiles, a security source told Reuters.

The fire set off some of the rockets which struck neighbourhoods several kilometres (miles) away and injured 14 people, mainly children, said Qasim al-Attabi, a spokesman for the district’s health directorate.

Health Ministry spokesman Saif Badr said most of the wounded were discharged from area hospitals with light wounds.

A police source said the fire was probably caused by negligence leading to poor storage conditions and high temperatures. The Interior Ministry ordered an investigation.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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