Coordination Framework leader questions official account of camp Kalsu blast

Coordination Framework leader questions official account of camp Kalsu blast

Shafaq News/ The Coordination Framework, an umbrella group of mainly Iran-backed Shiite political parties, has expressed "reservations" about the official investigation into the Camp Kalsu explosion in Babel, calling the findings "incomplete" and lacking in crucial details.

A leading member of the alliance, Aa'ed al-Hilali, told Shafaq News agency on Tuesday that the investigation failed to provide a definitive explanation for the blast, leaving unanswered questions about "whether it was an accidental incident due to improper weapons storage or a deliberate act of sabotage."

"The report did not address these concerns and failed to hold any party accountable or identify those responsible for the explosion," al-Hilali said, casting doubts on the "ambiguity" surrounding the official narrative.

Al-Hilali frankly expressed "lingering suspicions" that the explosion could have been the result of a deliberate attack, acknowledging that the prevailing sentiment is one of de-escalation, potentially influencing the "report's formulation to maintain stability and prevent factional tensions."

Al-Hilali's skepticism reflects a broader unease among some Shiite groups regarding the transparency and thoroughness of the investigation. While the official report attributes the blast to an "internal detonation", concerns persist about the possibility of foul play.

The report released earlier today concluded that the incident resulted from an "internal detonation".

An official statement said a "high-level technical committee, formed on the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, comprised specialists in missile technology, artillery, forensics, and explosives" were in charge of the probe.

The report said a vast, irregular crater marked the former ammunition and explosives storage area at the heart of the explosion. "The crater's size suggests a detonation involving a significant amount of highly explosive material."

Investigators also recovered fragments of five rockets scattered 150 meters away, along with 22 rocket fins located within a 100-meter radius.

"Air Defense Command reports confirmed no fighter jet or drone activity in Babel's airspace before, during, or after the incident."

The scale of the blast and the scattered projectiles, rockets, and explosives ruled out a missile attack, as per the report. Moreover, forensic analysis of soil and metal fragments identified three explosive materials: TNT, ammonium nitrate, and dibutyl phthalate.

"The committee's detailed report was presented to and approved by the Commander-in-Chief on April 23rd, 2024," the statement read.

One person has been killed and at least eight injured after a blast at a military base in Iraq used by the Iran-aligned Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), the army said.

The PMF said "the attack" late on Friday targeted the Kalsu military base, located some 50km south of the capital Baghdad.

Videos and images from the scene showed a huge explosion, which also set fire to trees in the surrounding areas, spreading the blaze. Footage from inside the base on Saturday morning showed a large crater and damage to infrastructure and vehicles.

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