Baghdad blast: Car bombs outside two top hotels kill at least 10 in Iraqi capital

The explosions at the Babylon and the Meridian went off seven minutes apart

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The Independent Online

Car bombs have exploded in the car parks of two heavily fortified five-star hotels in central Baghdad, killing at least 10 people, police and medical sources said.

A further 30 people were wounded in the blasts, which were around seven minutes apart.

The first bomb targeted the Babylon hotel, where government officials often hold meetings and news conferences, and the second hit the Meridian.

Iraqi authorities lifted a decade-old night-time curfew on Baghdad early this year, seeking to restore a sense of normality to the capital as security forces battle Isis militants who have overrun large parts of the country.

But the rate of bombings in Baghdad has increased since then.

Insurgents seized the city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, on 17 May in the most significant military setback to the government since a US-led coalition launched a campaign of air strikes against Isis last August.