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Explosion Kills 15, Wounds 132 in Northern Iraq


The U.S. military in Iraq says a massive explosion in northern Iraq Wednesday killed 15 people, mostly civilians, and wounded at least 132 other civilians.

The blast occurred in a residential area in the city of Mosul after police were tipped off to a weapons cache inside a vacant building. It is not clear what triggered the explosion.

Rescue teams are searching for survivors in the rubble of the toppled three-story building and damaged nearby homes.

A U.S. military statement says three Iraqi army soldiers are among the dead.

Elsewhere Wednesday, Iraqi police said a car bomb blast in a market near the city of Kirkuk killed at least five people and wounded more than 10 others.

To the south, Iraqi security officials said three Iraqi soldiers were killed and at least one wounded when gunmen fired at them in central Baghdad.

Also, the U.S. military said coalition forces killed five terrorists and detained 16 suspects during operations targeting al-Qaida networks in central and northern Iraq.

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

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