Blasts, suicide bombers strike busy central Baghdad, killing at least 18
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
- Eighteen are dead after four blasts hit a high-traffic area in central Baghdad
- In one blast, a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside the Justice Ministry building
- Iraqi state TV: Gunmen stormed the building but were killed by Iraqi security forces
- The blasts happened near the fortified area known as the Green Zone
Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Four massive explosions -- at least one set off by a suicide bomber -- rocked a busy area of Baghdad on Thursday. The blasts came in quick succession around 1 p.m. not far from the fortified area known as the Green Zone, where international and government employees work.
Black smoke filled the sky as fires raged for nearly two hours and frantic Iraqis shouted out for their loved ones. One woman screamed, "My son!"
At least 18 people were killed and 53 were wounded, police officials in Baghdad told CNN.
In one of the attacks, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vest inside the Justice Ministry building, Iraqi security officials told CNN.
Iraqi state television reported that three gunmen rushed into the building, but Iraqi forces killed them. Iraqi forces continued to search the building to make sure employees were safe, the government-run news outlet said.
It's unclear at this time how the bomber and gunmen were able to get to the Justice Ministry, considering there are multiple checkpoints and other security measures in place to help keep the high-traffic area secure.
A two-year college nearby was also damaged.
Three hours after the blasts, Iraqi military helicopters were still hovering over the Justice Ministry as the sounds of sirens wailed.
The attacks come as the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war nears. The invasion began on March 20, 2003.
iReport Special: 10 years on, the war through your eyes
Read: A decade after Saddam Hussein, Iraq still struggles
Part of complete coverage on
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1839 GMT (0239 HKT)
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this baffling disappearance.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1146 GMT (1946 HKT)
The two pilots who were flying Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may lead to a few clues in the investigation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
As investigators search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, analysts try to figure out why the high-tech plane's transponders were disabled.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
A CNN team joins international observers trying to get into Crimea from Ukraine -- here's what they saw.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
Watch how Pope Francis is redefining the papacy and breathing new life into the Catholic Church.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1629 GMT (0029 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Michael Oren: He says the question is whether a truce can prevent conflict from becoming conflagration.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster changed global attitudes towards nuclear power. Explore our interactive to find out how.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 2029 GMT (0429 HKT)
You -- the person now reading this story -- can help experts solve the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1051 GMT (1851 HKT)
Scientists around the world are investigating whether living cells can be used to print replacement organs and tissues.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
There are two Web clips featuring Beyonce that have been getting a lot of attention.
Today's five most popular stories