Iraq takes security measures following mysterious blasts

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(Associated Press) – Iraq on Thursday banned unauthorized flights and ordered all military camps and munitions warehouses to be moved outside Iraqi cities following a massive explosion at a munitions depot southwest of Baghdad that killed one civilian and wounded 13 earlier this week.

The exact cause of Monday night’s explosion at the al-Saqr military base is still unknown. The blast shook the Iraqi capital and sent explosives and mortar shells shooting into the sky, damaging nearby homes and terrifying residents who ran into the streets with their cellphones. Black smoke billowed over the city for hours afterward.

The federal police base houses a weapons depot belonging to a militia group under the umbrella of the mainly Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. The state-sanctioned PMF militias have fought alongside Iraq’s regular armed forces against the Islamic State group.

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