Gas poisoning

 

Outside Baghdad, about 150 people were hospitalised complaining of breathing problems, vomiting and other ailments after a truck carrying a chlorine-based substance was hit by a roadside bomb on Tuesday.

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Five people died in the blast and the others were treated after being exposed to fumes and debris near Taji, about 20km northwest of Baghdad. All those treated were in stable condition.

 

More than 100 people have been killed in the Baghdad area since Sunday in a direct challenge to efforts by US and Iraqi forces to restore some authority on the streets.

 

The first attacks came when a car bomb hit a petrol station in the Sadiyah district in southwestern Baghdad. At least six people were killed and 14 injured, police said.

Later, a car bomb hit a vegetable market near a predominantly Shia area in southern Baghdad. At least five people were killed and seven injured, police said.

 

US outpost attacked

The US military confirmed late on Monday that two soldiers had been killed in a "co-ordinated attack on a coalition force combat outpost" in Tarmiyah, about 30km north of Baghdad.

People were treated after being exposed to
fumes and debris near Taji on Monday [EPA]

The combat outposts have been created in several districts as part of Operation Imposing Law.

US troops conduct operations from them rather than returning to military bases.

"Insurgents initiated the attack on the outpost with a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonation," a US statement said.

Witnesses and local authorities said at least one car was driven into the concrete outer barriers around the base, a former Iraqi police station, igniting stored fuel before troops came under fire from an armed group.

Mohammed al-Askari, spokesman for Iraq's defence ministry, blamed the attack on al-Qaida in Iraq.