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US Military Disputes Cause of Baghdad Blasts on Sunday


The U.S. military in Iraq says a series of explosions Sunday that killed 57 people in Baghdad was the result of an accidental gas main blast. The Iraqi government blamed insurgents for the blasts.

U.S. military spokesman Major General William Caldwell says American explosives experts found no evidence of anything other than a significant gas explosion that also set off subsequent blasts.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said terrorists with a deep hatred of his country carried out a wave of attacks Sunday on a Shi'ite neighborhood of Baghdad.

Mr. Maliki said the attackers, suspected Sunni insurgents, want to incite sectarian fighting in Iraq.

On Sunday, the Iraqi government said insurgents fired rockets and set off bombs in Baghdad's Zafraniyah district, killing 57 people and wounding more than 140 others.

In violence Monday, Iraqi officials say two car bombs exploded in eastern Baghdad, killing two people.

In a separate incident, four Australian soldiers were wounded Monday in a rocket attack on Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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