Thursday, 27th October , 2011 , 19:56 [pm] | International
Deadly explosions rock Baghdad
Two deadly explosions in Baghdad have caused mass casualties, according to police and hospital officials.
A medical source told Al Jazeera that at least 12 people had been killed and 45 injured in Thursday’s attacks in the northeast of the city.
But other officials put the death toll at 18, according to Reuters and the Associated Press (AP) news agencies.
Two police officials told AP the first explosion, at a music store shortly after 7 pm local time, killed two people.
The second bomb struck four minutes later, as rescue workers and others rushed to the scene, the officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“I stood outside my shop and saw burning cars and dead bodies on the ground,” Ahmed Jalil, a grocery store owner near the attack site in Ur, a Shia neighbourhood, told AP.
“The situation was miserable and I could see wounded people being loaded on police pickups.
“Today’s attack proves that the government’s allegations that the security is under control are nothing but baseless allegations and that the tens of checkpoints scattered all over the capital are useless and a waste of resources,” Jalil said.
Violence in Iraq has decreased since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but many fear an escalation as the December 31 withdrawal date for US troops approaches.
US President Barack Obama recently confirmed that all 39,000 US troops still stationed in Iraq will be withdrawn by the end of the year, bringing to an end to an almost nine-year presence in the country since the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Iraqi leaders adamantly refused to give US troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, while US military officials had refused to stay without it.aljazeera, Voice of a Nation