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Mosul blast toll raised to 60: Iraqi Red Crescent

Flames engulf Central Bank building in Baghdad

The death toll from last week's explosion in Mosul was raised from 35 to at least 60 people, aid workers reported on Monday, the same day a fire consumed Iraq's central bank building in Baghdad.

At least 60 people, mostly women and children, were killed and 280 wounded in a blast that rocked the northern Iraqi city of Mosul last week, the Iraqi Red Crescent said in a report.

Iraqi officials had put the toll at 35 dead and 217 wounded from Wednesday's explosion, which the U.S. military said was caused when a cache of munitions stored by insurgents in a house in west Mosul's Zanjili suburb blew up.

"Many families had buried their killed relatives immediately after the attack without getting them registered," the Red Crescent said in the report posted on its website.

"This had brought the estimate of the number of killed people to 60; most of them were children, women and elderly," it said. "It is expected that there are still dead bodies buried under the rubble."

The Red Crescent deplored the blast, saying: "Such attacks increase the suffering of the Iraqi families who are already living in a very difficult situation resulting from armed conflicts and frequent disasters."

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed al-Qaeda for the explosion, as well as for a suicide bombing the following day which killed three senior police when they went to the site.

Meanwhile early on Monday in Baghdad, a large fire broke out in Iraq's central bank building, but there were no reports of casualties, police said.

The fire, which took over five stories of the bank's building, broke out after midnight and was controlled early morning by Iraqi firefighters.

Police said the cause of the blaze was unclear.