Large explosion rocks Baghdad

2011-12-26 09:02

Baghdad - A car driven by a suicide bomber blew up next to the interior ministry in central Baghdad on Monday morning, causing a number of casualties, an official and AFP journalists said.

It was not immediately clear how many people were killed or wounded in the attack, which occurred at about 6:30 am (SA time) in the Bab al-Sharji area. Ambulances could be heard rushing to the scene as helicopters flew overhead.

Reports have come in of at least seven casualties.

An interior ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the explosion was the work of a suicide car bomber. State broadcaster Al-Iraqiya TV also reported this as the cause of the attack.

The blast came after violence across Baghdad on Thursday killed 60 people.

Iraq is mired in a political row with authorities calling for the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on charges he ran a death squad, accusations Hashemi denies.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has also called for the sacking of his Sunni deputy Saleh al-Mutlak, who has denounced the premier as a dictator "worse than Saddam Hussein".

Meanwhile, the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc of Hashemi and Mutlak has boycotted cabinet and parliament.

Read more on:    iraq

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