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18 killed in twin Baghdad car bombs

world Updated: Sep 19, 2010 19:05 IST

Two near-simultaneous car bombs rocked Baghdad on Sunday killing at least 18 people and wounding 100 in the capital's deadliest day in a month.

The twin blasts hit the Aden junction in north Baghdad and the residential district of Mansur in the west of the capital at around 10:10 am (0810 GMT), AFP journalists and security officials said.

An interior ministry official put the death toll at 18, most of whom were killed in the Aden explosion. He said chaotic scenes at the blast sites and nearby hospitals made it difficult to give a more detailed breakdown.

Earlier, he had said nine people had died in Aden and three in Mansur.

The official cautioned that the casualty tolls were preliminary and could rise.

He and a defence ministry official confirmed that both blasts were the results of car bombs.

An AFP journalist at the scene in Mansur reported several bloodied bodies on the street, with multiple cars burned out and two buildings destroyed, while nearby houses were also badly damaged.

The explosion hit in front of an office of mobile phone company Asiacell, he said. It was unclear if Asiacell's offices were the target.

Also on Sunday, a father and son were killed when a magnetic bomb was attached to their car in Ghazaliyah, west Baghdad, the interior ministry official said.

He added that three mortar rounds had been fired into the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone, home to many foreign embassies and government buildings, but said they had not caused any casualties or damage.

The overall death toll in Baghdad was the highest since August 17, when a suicide bomber killed 59 people when he blew himself up at a crowded army recruitment centre.

That same military complex was targeted two weeks ago, when six suicide bombers carried out a coordinated attack on it, killing 12 people.

Government figures suggest violence has risen in recent months as the US military has withdrawn thousands of its soldiers and declared an official end to combat operations, and politicians have failed to reach agreement on a new government six months after an inconclusive general election.

July and August recorded two of the highest death tolls since 2008, according to figures released by Iraqi officials.