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Explosions heard in Baghdad as Arab summit meeting opens, with only 10 leaders in attendance
BAGHDAD (AP) ' Two explosions have been heard in central Baghdad as the Arab summit opened in the Iraqi capital.
Only 10 leaders from the 22-member Arab League were in attendance when the summit opened on Thursday and the emir of Kuwait was the lone head of state to attend from the six U.S.-allied Gulf Arab nations.
A senior Iraqi intelligence official said a mortar hit near the Iranian Embassy, just outside the Green Zone where the summit was being held. He had no word on a second explosion and said there were no immediate reports of casualties.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
BAGHDAD (AP) ' The Arab summit has opened in Baghdad with only 10 leaders from the 22-member Arab League in attendance.
The emir of Kuwait is the only Gulf Arab leader attending the summit, which Iraq had hoped would herald its return to the Arab fold after two decades of isolation.
Their absence reflects increased Sunni-Shiite tensions across the region in the aftermath of last year's Arab Spring uprisings, particularly the one against a regime dominated by a Shiite offshoot sect in Sunni-majority Syria and another by majority Shiites in Sunni-ruled Bahrain, also a Gulf Arab nation.
The summit opened on Thursday at a palace once used by dictator Saddam Hussein.