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US Military: Fire at Ammunition Depot Causes Explosions in Baghdad


The U.S. military says a fire at an ammunition depot has set off a series of explosions in southern Baghdad, but there are no reports of casualties.

A statement says the fire ignited tank and artillery ordnance, as well as small arms ammunition. Television footage showed plumes of smoke and flames rising from the depot. A U.S. military spokesman says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The military also says all coalition forces and workers at the base were evacuated safely.

In violence in Iraq Tuesday, more than 20 people were killed, including at least 10 who died in a car bomb explosion in Baghdad. Also, Iraqi officials say 60 more bodies were found in the Baghdad area - likely the latest victims of sectarian death squads.

The U.N. estimates at least 100 Iraqis die every day in violence.

In other news, the U.S. military says DNA testing has confirmed the death of an al-Qaida terrorist who escaped from a U.S. prison in Afghanistan last year. Mahmoud Ahmed Mohammed Al-Rashid, who was also known as Omar al-Farouq, was killed in a raid September 25 in Basra.

The U.S military also says Iraqi and coalition forces killed 11 militants in a clash Monday near a mosque in the southern town of Diwaniyah.

Meanwhile, the chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial has once again ejected the former Iraqi president from the courtroom. The judge had Saddam removed after the former president shouted a Koranic verse at him.

Saddam and his six co-defendants are accused of carrying out a campaign of genocide against Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s.

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

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