18 killed in Baghdad explosion

Baghdad, June 7 (IANS) At least 18 people were killed and about 90 wounded in an explosion that hit Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad controlled by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the winning coalition in the Iraqi elections in May, police said on Thursday.

According to the police officials quoted by Efe news agency, the explosion happened late on Wednesday inside a house used as a depot for weapons and ammunition, which was destroyed along with three other homes while a nearby Shiite mosque was damaged.

Previously, the police had attributed the explosion to a car bomb, which was believed to have been stationed in this popular Shiite neighbourhood, a frequent scene of such attacks.

Muqtada al-Sadr is the leader of the Sairun alliance, the majority winner in the Iraqi parliamentary elections of May 12.

The explosion occurred a few hours after the Iraqi parliament ordered a manual recount of votes due to suspicions of fraud and falsification.

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