Blasts in Basra area kill at least 68 people; over 200 injured including four UK soldiers
At least 68 people were killed and over 200 others, including four British soldiers, were injured in attacks on three police stations in Basra and a police academy in nearby Zubair, local officials said.
"There are 55 bodies in the morgue" of Sadr University Hospital in central Basra, an intern told AFP. Another hospital reported four dead and three women and two children among some 25 wounded.
The dead include 10 children who were passing by in minibuses on their way to school.
There were four almost simultaneous explosions in the British-controlled town. It is thought the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers.
Another two people were killed and six others injured Wednesday in a blast at a police academy in Zubair, according Issam Hazem Ainajli, a member of Basra's gubernorate council.
"There were two dead and six wounded in an explosion around 9:00 am (05H00 GMT) at the Zubair police academy," said Issam Hazem Ainajli, a member of the Basra's gubernorate council.
The ministry of defence in London said four British soldiers were injured, two seriously, in the explosion in Zubair.
"We are now confirming four British injuries, two of whom are serious," a ministry spokesman said in London, adding that they were receiving medical treatment.
Basra police chief General Mohammad Kadhem al-Ali said missiles fell on three police stations after a series of three successive explosions which rocked the city soon after 7:00 am (0300 GMT). Two police stations in the central Ashar district were hit by mortar bombs, police said minutes after the blasts. The third police station targeted was in the Old City of Basra.
A British military spokesman however said the explosions were believed to have been caused by car bombs outside the police stations, with dead at all three locations. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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