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Iraq: New Explosions Rock Baghdad

Baghdad, 27 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A series of explosions rocked Baghdad today, killing at least 18 people. In the most serious attack, a suicide bomber rammed an ambulance packed with explosives into security barriers outside the offices of the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC).

Witnesses said the blast caused extensive damage inside the ICRC building.

U.S. General Mark Hertling told reporters that the attack was "definitely a suicide bombing." Hertling said up to 10 Iraqis were killed and about 10 injured in the explosion. Further reports have said the death toll is rising.

It was immediately unclear where the other explosions occurred.

Hertling said four other vehicles exploded in the Baghdad area today, two of them close to police stations.

In a separate development, a U.S. military spokesman said a U.S. soldier was killed in a mortar attack late yesterday near the Abu Gharib prison in western Baghdad.