Baghdad blasts: More than 150 dead

A series of car bombs have killed at least 157 people in the predominantly Shia neighbourhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, in one of the deadliest spate of attacks since the 2003 US invasion.

Baghdad blasts: More than 150 dead
Armed men also attacked the city's health ministry and fought security guards in a fierce gun battle, trapping 2,000 employees inside.
 
The six bombs, apparently coordinated, and a mortar blast in different parts of Sadr City, also left at least 268 more people wounded and wrecked whole streets.
 
Fires were blazing after the blasts and the government imposed a curfew across the capital, banning people and cars from the streets.
 
Officials said the toll could rise since many of the dead have been reduced to scattered body parts and not been fully counted.
 
After dark, there was sporadic gunfire in several districts
 
One of the blasts went off at a market, a regular target for Sunni fighters in the sectarian conflict that has killed thousands of people in Iraq. The neighbourhood is a stronghold of the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
 
Daring raid
 
Interior ministry sources said five people were wounded at the health ministry building, about 5km from Sadr City.
 
The attackers fired mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns into the compound. The ministry is run by followers of al-Sadr.
 
Hakim al-Zamili, the deputy health minister, was trapped in the building with the employees.
 
He said: "First, a series of mortars were fired at the building from the nearby Al-Fadhel neighbourhood, and then about 100 masked gunmen holding machine guns attacked.
 
"The gunmen came in civilian cars and pick-up trucks and started shooting at the building and wounded a number of employees."
 
The attackers later withdrew after clashes with American and Iraqi security forces.
 
A health ministry spokesman said: "The gunmen fled as American helicopters and Iraqi armoured vehicles arrived. Employees were [later] able to leave."
 
The fighting lasted for several hours but the attackers failed to break into the ministry compound.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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