8 Aug 2010

Suspected generator blast kills 14 in Iraq

10:19 am on 8 August 2010

An explosion, reportedly caused by a power generator, has killed at least 14 people in a market in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Some 35 injured people were rushed from the scene in ambulances after the explosion in the al-Ashaar market.

Police officials say a power generator malfunctioned.

Private communal generators are common in Iraq, where demand for electricity dramatically outstrips supply, forcing the use of unpopular rationing, the BBC says.

Chronic power shortages have triggered protests across the country in recent months, including in Basra, where two people died in June when police opened fire on protesters. The country's electricity minister resigned later that month.