Blast heard in central Baghdad, cause unknown - Reuters witnesses

by Reuters
Sunday, 19 May 2019 17:49 GMT

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BAGHDAD, May 19 (Reuters) - A blast was heard in central Baghdad on Sunday night, with its cause and precise location unclear, Reuters witnesses said. Iraqi officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Two Baghdad-based diplomatic sources also said they heard the blast close to the Iraqi capital's fortified Green Zone which houses government buildings and foreign embassies.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in the northern city of Erbil evacuated non-essential staff this week.

President Donald Trump's administration has said it sent additional forces to the region to counter what it called credible threats from Iran against U.S. interests, including from militias it supports in Iraq.

Iran and the United States have both said they do not want war as tensions between them increase. (Reporting by John Davison; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Mark Potter)

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