At least 9 killed in Baghdad gas tanker explosion

BAGHDAD (AP) — A gas tanker exploded near a soccer field in northeastern Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least nine people and wounding 10 others, according to security officials.

Shrapnel from the tanker tore into residential buildings and into the soccer pitch.

Security officials, speaking to the The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said it was unclear whether the explosion was a technical failure or targeted attack.

The explosion occurred two days after Iraq’s parliament approved a new Cabinet in a long-awaited vote, marking a major breakthrough in easing political tensions across the country.

The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani is the first since 2005 that does not include seats for the bloc of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Iraq held early elections more than a year ago in response to mass antigovernment protests that began in October 2019 in Baghdad and across southern Iraq. Protesters called for the overhaul of the political system established after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

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