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Rockets hit Baghdad as AL summit opens


08:07, March 30, 2012

BAGHDAD, March 29 (Xinhua) -- A rocket exploded at the outskirts of the Green Zone in Iraq's capital Baghdad on Thursday, minutes after the Arab League summit kicked off near the scene, an Interior Ministry source said.

The rocket landed on the edge of the fortified Green Zone where leaders of the pan-Arab body was holding the opening session of the annual summit, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

He said the blast scene was close to the Iranian embassy, and the western and central district of Baghdad were also hit simultaneously by two other rockets. There is no report of casualties so far.

Xinhua correspondents heard three successive blasts in Baghdad' s central district but didn't see smoke column. Local media initially reported the explosions were likely caused by rockets, mortar rounds or suicide bombers.

Mobile phone network has been shut off and residents are under curfew, which makes it difficult for the media to gather more information. Security has been largely good in Baghdad since the start of the AL meetings on March 27 as thousands of security members were on alert around the city and most places were locked down.


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