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Death Toll in Basra Blasts Rises to 43 - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Iraqi men evacuate a victim from the scene of an explosion in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP)

Iraqi men evacuate a victim from the scene of an explosion in Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP)

BAGHDAD, (AP) – The death toll from explosions at a market in Iraq’s second-largest city has risen to 43, Iraqi officials said Sunday, adding that as many as 185 people were also wounded in the blasts.

The new casualty figures from Saturday’s explosions were released by Dr. Salah Abid, a spokesman for the emergency room at the health center in the southern port city of Basra.

An official in the city’s morgue also put the number of bodies, some of which were badly burned, at 43. The morgue official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The scores of wounded were taken to at least four hospitals in Basra, which is located 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad.

It’s still not clear what caused the explosion. Two police officials, both speaking on condition of anonymity, said a roadside bomb and a car packed with explosives were the source of the blasts. But Basra Police Chief Adil Daham said the explosions were caused by a malfunctioning power generator.

In other violence Sunday, a car bomb exploded near a school and a cluster of stores in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah west of Baghdad, killing two people and injuring four.

An Iraqi soldier inspects burnt cars following a blast at a parking lot in the Sinak district of Baghdad. (AFP)

An Iraqi soldier inspects burnt cars following a blast at a parking lot in the Sinak district of Baghdad. (AFP)

U.S. soldiers look at weapons and explosive objects displayed for the media after a search operation by Iraqi forces in Baghdad. (R)

U.S. soldiers look at weapons and explosive objects displayed for the media after a search operation by Iraqi forces in Baghdad. (R)

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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