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Three blasts hit hotel in Iraq's Basra in day of violence across Iraq

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - 00:48

July 2- Emergency services rush toward the scene of three blasts at a hotel in Basra, as violence kills nearly 50 people across Iraq. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: At least 45 people were killed in bomb attacks across Iraq on Tuesday , most of them in busy markets and commercial areas of the capital Baghdad, police and medics said. In the city of Basra, three blasts hit a hotel frequented by foreigners working in the oil industry, wounding three guards. The force of the blast at the Manawi Pasha Hotel left scenes of destruction, with the parts of destroyed vehicles littered around the scene of the attack. Onlookers gathered as emergency services responded to the blasts, the first of which went off in the back of the hotel, minutes later followed by a second blast at the front gate of the hotel. Representatives from Turkish and Spanish firms were said to have been meeting at the hotel at the time of the attack. Basra, 420 kilometers (240 miles) southeast of Baghdad, is the largest city in the mainly Shi'ite south and the heart of Iraq's oil industry. The deadliest assault took place in the predominantly Shi'ite Shaab neighborhood of northern Baghdad, where two car bombs killed eight people. There were also explosions in the mainly Shi'ite districts of Abu Dsheer, Kamaliya, Tobchi and Shula. The violence is part of a sustained campaign of militant attacks since the start of the year that has prompted warnings of wider conflict in a country where ethnic Kurds, Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims have yet to find a stable power-sharing compromise. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but suicide bombings are the trademark of al Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, which security experts say has regained strength in recent months.

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Three blasts hit hotel in Iraq's Basra in day of violence across Iraq

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - 00:48