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November 01, 2010

Heavy Casualty Toll Follows Series of Baghdad Explosions

Iraq's Interior Ministry is reporting that at least 60 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a series of at least 12 explosions across the capital Baghdad.

Multiple explosions rocked several mostly Shi'ite targets across the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, leaving a trail of blood and destruction.

Al-Arabiya TV reported that explosions, including suicide bombings, occurred in at least 10 locations, showing footage of smoke rising from one bombing site and ambulances transporting the wounded.

Eyewitnesses say the bombers hit a number of soft-targets, including cafes and restaurants, in a deliberate attempt to kill innocent civilians.

Baghdad security chief General Qassem Mohammed Atta said a number of innocent citizens were killed or wounded and the victims were taken to hospitals for treatment.

He also said the security situation is under control, despite attempts to cause confusion by setting off explosions in many different places.

Despite reassurances from various Iraqi officials that they were able to cope with the magnitude of the attacks, Iraqi Health Minister Salah al Hasnawi noted Iraqis who wished to donate blood are welcome to do so.

He said that there is no shortage of anything so far at Iraqi hospitals, but he goes on to encourage those that want to do so to donate blood.

Recent reports in the Arab press have indicated a resurgence of al-Qaida activity since the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces and in the wake of an almost eight-month political vacuum.  Other unconfirmed reports have said some Sunni-Arab militiamen who have fought alongside the United States in recent years had changed allegiance back to al-Qaida.

The series of explosions follow a brutal and bloody hostage-taking Sunday at a Baghdad church, in which dozens of worshippers were killed or wounded.