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Page last updated at 18:13 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Baghdad blasts: Witness accounts

Iraqi rescuers at scene of bombing
Iraqi rescuers remove a body from a bomb site near the finance ministry in Baghdad

Two Baghdad residents who were close to the bomb attacks on Tuesday told BBCArabic.com about their lucky escapes. Five car bombs killed at least 127 people and wounded hundreds.

Dr Mohammed, dentist and lecturer at Mustanseri University

I heard the first explosion while I was at university this morning. I went up onto the roof with some colleagues and students to see where it had happened. You can tell from the rising smoke which direction it's in.

After a few minutes on the roof, the second bomb went off, very close to Mustanseri University.

It was very powerful, it lifted me off the ground and I crashed back onto the roof.

People panicked, we started to push each other down the stairs to get out, some people fell.

I put the blame squarely on the Iraqi government, it has failed us... after seven years we still don't have any sense of security

When we reached the ground floor, the head of the university asked us not to leave, afraid there might be another explosion nearby.

We stayed there for two hours before he decided we should go, in case the roads started getting closed off and we wouldn't be able to get home.

This is exactly what happened a few months ago and the roads were closed for weeks. So, we're learning how to handle these things.

When I left the building, I saw ambulances heading for al-Karama hospital nearby, it's very close to our university.

I saw injured people, it looked like they were students from the art college.

I had to walk all the way home. The bridge [over the River Tigris] I walked across was closed to cars.

I got home, had lunch and then had to go out and start my afternoon surgery. The situation in my area, is OK, it looks like nothing has happened.

I put the blame squarely on the Iraqi government, it has failed us. Baghdad has some of the worst basic services in Iraq and after seven years we still don't have any sense of security.

Who knows who was responsible for the bomb attacks? The victims were from all sectors and age groups of Baghdad life.

Ali Muhammed, 19

I escaped two of the explosions today. I live in al-Mansour, in western Baghdad, not far from the first explosion in Dora.

Had I not been late, I would have been in the area at just about when it happened.

As it was I left the house at 0930 this morning, so I missed the explosion by about half an hour or so. I had to cross the river and go to the eastern side of Baghdad for hospital tests.

I think drivers were trying to avoid the main roads because that's where they think the bombs will go off

I was going to al-Wasity Hospital, which is close to where the next bomb went off, in Shourja market.

I was in hospital when it went off. It shook the building. People were shouting 'No one is safe!' They were blaming America, the government and al-Qaeda.

When I arrived at the hospital the roads had been quiet and normal. When I left, it was chaos, traffic everywhere.

I think drivers were trying to avoid the main roads because that's where they think the bombs will go off. There were police cars everywhere and a helicopter above.

My family had been trying to ring me, but there's a new rule in Baghdad that you have to hand in your mobile when you go to hospital.

My family knew where I was heading, so were terrified when they couldn't get through to me. After I got my mobile back I rang my mother and told her I was OK.

Today I feel it's a miracle I survived - but who knows what will happen tomorrow?

I haven't felt safe for a long time now. Every two months or so, just when we start to feel optimistic again, another explosion brings us back down. I don't know who to blame.

Translation: Huda Jabir



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