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Basra Blasts Kill At Least 20

Basra, in the south, is Iraq's second-largest city.

Basra, in the south, is Iraq's second-largest city.

At least 20 people, and possibly more, are reported to have been killed in a series of explosions at a marketplace in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city.

Unconfirmed western news reports quote unidentified officials as saying the death toll could be more than 40, with more than 100 injured.

The cause of the blasts August 7 at the Al-Ashaar market wasn't immediately clear.

Some officials said there was at least one car bomb, while Basra's police chief said the explosions appear to have been caused by a malfunctioning power generator.

The Basra incident was among a series of bombings and shooting attacks in Iraq on August 7. The other attacks left at least seven Iraqi police officers dead, and also killed and injured a number of civilians.

The latest surge of attacks comes as the United States prepares to withdraw all but 50,000 American troops from Iraq by the end of August.

compiled from agency reports