12 killed in Baghdad hotel bombings

Baghdad, Jan 25 (Calcutta Tube) Three large explosions ripped through hotels in the centre of the Iraqi capital Monday, state Iraqi television reported, with police putting the toll at 12 killed and 25 injured.

The first blast hit the Sheraton Hotel, the second hit the Babylon Hotel, and the third hit the Hamra Hotel, where many foreign journalists stay.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen rising above the city and sirens wailed as emergency workers flocked to the scene, witnesses told DPA.

‘The blasts were so powerful, the house started to shake,’ said Lubna Naji, a student who lives in the nearby neighbourhood of al-Karradah.

The city has been on edge for weeks. Iraqi security forces two weeks ago discovered hundreds of kilograms of explosives and arrested 25 people in a massive search that wreaked havoc on the morning commute in Baghdad.

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