Published December 14, 2003
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Three barrels of gasoline mounted on a pickup truck exploded in central Baghdad (search) Sunday, hours after U.S. officials announced the capture of Saddam Hussein (search), police officials said. No one was hurt.
It was not clear whether the explosion was an accident or not. Witnesses said that a white four-wheel drive pickup truck, carrying the barrels of gasoline, caught fire setting off the explosions. The car was destroyed.
Witnesses Ahmed Abdul-Rahman and Adel Majid said that two people wearing police uniforms were in the vehicle and fled the scene shortly before the explosions occurred. There were no casualties.
The explosion came just hours after U.S. officials reported Saddam had been captured. There was no immediate evidence that the two were connected.
Shortly after the explosions, bursts of gunfire rang out from the area of the blasts. The explosions occurred at 8:20 p.m. local time in the central Baghdad's street of al-Saadoun, a busy thoroughfare.
Two fire trucks arrived a few minutes later and put out the blaze. U.S. troops as well as Iraqi policemen and soldiers, cordoned the area and banned journalists from getting close to the car.