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Explosion targeting Hashd al-Sha'abi forces kills 2 in Iraq’s Anbar

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This photo shows the aftermath of an explosion targeting forces from Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units in Qaim district in western Anbar Province on May 23, 2019. (Photo by

At least two people have been killed and two more wounded in a terrorist explosion targeting Iraq’s pro-government Popular Mobilization Units in the western province of Anbar.

The blast came on Thursday when an explosive-laden vehicle was set off inside a carwash in Anbar's Qaim district, Reuters reported.

This photo shows a vehicle blown up to target forces from Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units in Qaim district in western Anbar Province on May 23, 2019. (Photo by

One of the fatalities as well as the wounded were identified as members of the Popular Mobilization Units, known in Arabic as Hashd al-Sha’abi. An employee at the facility was also killed by the explosion.

Iraq-based al-Rasheed Satellite Channel put the number of the wounded at four.

The PMU played a decisive role in Iraq’s uphill 2014-2017 battle against the Daesh Takfiri terror group.

The Iraqi parliament on November 26, 2016 approved a law giving full legal status to Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters. 

It recognized the PMU as part of the national armed forces, placed the volunteer fighters under the command of the prime minister, and granted them the right to receive salaries and pensions like the regular army and police forces.

Iraqi forces retook Qaim, which lies on the border with Syria, in November 2017, after which they declared final victory over the group the following month.

Iraq is still watchful of movements by Daesh’s remnants and sleeper cells.

A US-led coalition began purportedly targeting Daesh in the same year as the outfit launched its campaign in the Arab country and neighboring Syria. The coalition has been found culpable of indiscrimination and keeps its presence in the countries, although they have declared victory against Daesh.

In early May, the coalition was reported dropping foodstuff and medical supplies to Daesh’s remnants in Anbar as well as on the border with Syria.

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