Bombings near Baghdad mall kill at least 13 people

Bombings near Baghdad mall kill at least 13 people Pic. AFP

Two overnight bomb blasts outside a shopping mall in central Baghdad killed at least 13 people and wounded more than 30, security and medical officials said on Saturday.

The blasts were the latest in a series of deadly attacks at Baghdad shopping centers this year, including one that killed more than 300 people in early July.

In the latest attack, one explosion came from a parked car and the other was caused by an explosives-laden vehicle driven by a suicide bomber outside Nakheel Mall on Palestine Street in the City Centre, a police colonel said.

The blasts, which hit just before midnight (2100 GMT) Friday, shattered windows at the multi-storey mall and damaged a fence surrounding it.

Interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan said there were no casualties inside.

As people worked to clean up the rubble outside on Saturday, a private security company guarding the mall sought to prevent pictures being taken, seizing the cameras of several photographers.

The cameras were eventually returned, but video footage shot by an AFP photographer was deleted by the firm.

Nakheel Mall opened last year and shops were likely to have remained open late ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha which begins on Monday.

The mall also houses one of the city's most popular cinemas.

On Tuesday, a car bomb near a hospital killed at least seven people in Baghdad's Karrada district -- an area still reeling from a July suicide bombing that set nearby shopping centers ablaze and left more than 300 people dead.