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3 Back-to-Back Explosions Rock Central Baghdad - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Smoke billows from the scene of a blast in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. (AFP)

Smoke billows from the scene of a blast in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. (AFP)

BAGHDAD, (AP) – Three loud explosions shook central Baghdad in quick succession Sunday, breaking a period of relative calm in the Iraqi capital after elections last month.

One of the blasts struck near the Iranian Embassy, said Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Mousawi, a spokesman for the city’s operations command center. The other two were in western Baghdad.

The cause of the explosions and whether there were any casualties was not immediately known.

The force of the blasts shook buildings and rattled windows in the center of the capital. At least two plumes of gray smoke rose above the capital, one near the center of the city and another in the western part of the capital.

Sunday’s blasts come two days after an execution-style attack in which at least 24 Sunnis were killed. The slayings reignited fears of the sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007.

The bloodshed comes amid increasing concerns that insurgents will take advantage of Iraq’s political turmoil to further destabilize the country, nearly a month after parliamentary elections failed to give any candidate a decisive win. Many fear a drawn-out political debate could spill over into violence and complicate American efforts to speed up troop withdrawals in the coming months.

Supporters of anti-American radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr cast their votes in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP)

Supporters of anti-American radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr cast their votes in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP)

An Iraqi Awakening Council member, Sunnis who turned against al-Qaeda and now help Iraqi forces provide security, patrols in the Azamiyah area of north Baghdad. (AP)

An Iraqi Awakening Council member, Sunnis who turned against al-Qaeda and now help Iraqi forces provide security, patrols in the Azamiyah area of north Baghdad. (AP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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