11:44 GMT +323 June 2018
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    Iraqi police in Baghdad. (File)

    Explosion Hits Iraq's Capital - Reports

    © AP Photo / Hadi Mizban
    Middle East
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    2012

    The "huge blast" that rocked the Iraqi capital Wednesday night has killed at least seven people and wounded more than a dozen more, according to local reports, although the nature of the explosion and even how many blasts there were remains unclear.

    "Explosions hits Iraq's capital [of] Baghdad, casualties reported," an Istanbul-based journalist reported on Twitter late Wednesday night, Baghdad time. The Iraqi Interior Ministry confirmed the blasts and called them and act of "terrorist aggression against civilians." Just an hour later, however, Iraqi media began reporting that the explosion was not a deliberate attack but an accident at an army weapons depot.

    Reuters reported scant hours after the first statement that the government in a short follow up statement called the explosion the result of the detonation of an ammunition cache and said an investigation has been opened.

    It's not clear how the detonation occurred, whether deliberate or not. Early imagery evidence pointed to a car bomb. It was also reported on social media that the two blasts were triggered by improvised explosive devices, and later reports claimed IEDs had been stored in the area the blast occurred. 

    ​Farah Abdessamad, chief of social policy at UNICEF Iraq, reports that she heard "the too familiar sound of a blast," adding that she hopes Baghdadis are safe. 

    Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya news agency reports that the district that was attacked, Sadr City district, is a "stronghold" of Iraqi nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political faction was victorious during parliamentary elections that took place May 12. The Shia leader's party won more seats "than any other party or alliance in Iraq's parliamentary elections," Al Jazeera reported in May. 

    Sadr hails from a powerful Iraqi family and has advocated for an end to foreign occupation. 

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    Tags:
    improvised explosive devices (IEDs), explosion, Iraq, Baghdad
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