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Iraq: Civilian Deaths Reported As Explosions Rock Baghdad Outskirts

Baghdad, 26 April 2003 (RFE/RL) -- At least five Iraqi civilians are believed to have been killed and many badly injured when an ignited ammunition dump on Baghdad's southern outskirts set off a chain of blasts near a residential neighborhood. The Reuters news agency cited witnesses as saying at least five people were killed following nearly an hour of explosions in the Baghdad suburb of Zaafaraniya. CNN reports that residents fear as many as 14 people may have been killed when a house was struck by a missile set off during the explosions. Angry Iraqis threw stones at U.S. troops arriving to aid in recovery efforts.

U.S. Army Captain Patrick Sullivan, speaking at the scene, said unidentified "hostile forces" fired four flares into an ammunition storage area, setting off the chain of explosions. One U.S. soldier was also hurt in the blasts.