19 Sep 2010

Two blasts in Baghdad kill at least 18

9:20 pm on 19 September 2010

At least 18 people have been killed in two large, near-simultaneous explosions in Baghdad, officials say.

The blasts hit the Al-Bunuk neighbourhood of north Baghdad and the residential district of Mansur, in the west of the Iraqi capital.

The BBC reports that the Mansur blast was in front of a mobile phone company office, but it was not clear if the office was the target. The site is also close to a popular restaurant.

Violence has increased in Iraq in recent months, with most of the attacks targeting Iraqi soldiers and police.

The US military withdrew thousands of its soldiers in August and declared an official end to combat operations, though 50,000 soldiers remain in the country ready to support the Iraqi army.