Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Saturday, April 26, 2003

14 Feared Dead, Some Wounded in Blast in S. Baghdad

At least 14 Iraqi civilians were believed killed and many badly wounded in a series of huge blasts at an arms dump on the outskirts of Baghdad on Saturday, CNN reported.


Fourteen Iraqi residents are feared dead after an "attacker" fired flares into a large coalition-controlled ammunitions dump south of Baghdad, a U.S. officer told CNN.

The flare triggered off a series of loud explosions and sent one errant missile into a Baghdad home, where residents say the 14 people are buried under the rubble.

The missile created a crater about three meters (10 ft) deep and eight meters (25 ft) wide. Iraqis dug with their hands in the belief that at least one person was trapped alive under the debris.

Equipment from the US 101st Airborne unit was to later join them. But anger among the residents ran high, blaming the U.S. for storing the confiscated ammunition near the homes.

US soldiers evacuated the base after the explosions began about 7 a.m. (0300 GMT).

Hundreds of Iraqis expressed their outrage at coalition forces occupying the base in the Baghdad neighborhood of Zafraniya, telling CNN's Nic Robertson they had warned the U.S. forces that the ordnance was a danger to residents.

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