Large explosion rocks central Baghdad | world | Hindustan Times
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Large explosion rocks central Baghdad

world Updated: Dec 26, 2011 12:15 IST

A car driven by a suicide bomber blew up next to the interior ministry in central Baghdad on Monday morning, causing a number of casualties, an official and AFP journalists said.

It was not immediately clear how many people were killed or wounded in the attack, which occurred at about 7:30 am (0430 GMT) in the Bab al-Sharji area. Ambulances could be heard rushing to the scene as helicopters flew overhead.

An interior ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the explosion was the work of a suicide car bomber. State broadcaster Al-Iraqiya TV also reported this as the cause of the attack.

The blast came after violence across Baghdad on Thursday killed 60 people.

Iraq is mired in a political row with authorities calling for the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on charges he ran a death squad, accusations Hashemi denies.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has also called for the sacking of his Sunni deputy Saleh al-Mutlak, who has denounced the premier as a dictator "worse than Saddam Hussein".

Meanwhile, the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc of Hashemi and Mutlak has boycotted cabinet and parliament.