Atleast 12 people have been killed and 132 wounded by a huge explosion in a block of flats in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Gen Abdul Kareem al-jubouri said the blast follewd a raid on a weapons and explosives cache in the building and that nearby homes were also destroyed.
Women and children are said to be among the victims of the blast in the city,390km(240 miles) north of Baghdad. The ethnically mixed city has seen an upsurge in violence in the past year.
Correspondents say the increased violence appears to be a consequence of the offensive by US-Led forces in and around Baghdad. Many Sunni insurgent groups are believed to have reacted by transferring their bases of operations to other provinces north of the capital. Witness described Wednesday’s explosion in Mosul as one of the biggest explosions they had ever heard, and said a huge plume of smoke rose above the city.