10 killed by car blasts at two luxury Baghdad hotels

Smoke rises from the site of car bomb attack in Baghdad, May 29, 2015. (Reuters / Ahmed Saad)
Two central Baghdad hotels have been rocked by explosions that reportedly killed at least 10 people, according to police and medical sources.

The apparently coordinated blasts targeted the five-star Cristal Grand Ishtar(formerly Sheraton) and Babylon hotels in the center of the Iraqi capital.According to medical and police sources cited by Reuters, at least 10 people were killed.Another 30 people were reportedly injured.

The first car bomb exploded close to the recently renovated Babylon hotel. A second blast just minites later went off close to the Ishtar hotel, also reportedly damaging the adjacent Al-Alawiyah club.

The attack comes amid turbulence and almost daily violence which Iraq has been witnessing ever since the US invasion back in 2003. It starting peaking again across 2013, during which more than 9,800 died, and escalated even further after the Islamic State militants overrun large parts of the country. Only earlier this year, the Iraqi government lifted a night-time curfew in Baghdad that has been in place for over a decade.

Despite the US-led coalition airstrikes, the Islamic State jihadists are still controlling the strategic city of Ramadi west of the capital, with clashes with government forces regularly happening as close as 30 kilometers to Baghdad. The terror group has previously claimed responsibility for many of the bloody attacks in the country.