Seven killed in Qaeda-style Iraq raid on govt headquarters

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Baquba (Iraq), Jun 14: Insurgents set off two car bombs and two suicide blasts, killing at least seven, in an Al-Qaeda style raid on government offices in central Iraq today, mirroring a similar attack in March.

The dozens of gunmen taking part in the mayhem in Diyala's provincial capital of Baquba also exchanged gunfire with Iraqi security forces, with officials warning that the toll, which included 17 wounded, could rise.

The attack raises concerns over the capabilities of Iraq's security forces, with just months to go before US soldiers must leave the country under the terms of a bilateral security pact.

An official in Diyala's security command centre said insurgents had initially set off two car bombs at the perimeter wall of the province's government headquarters at around 9:30 am (0630 GMT), opening the way for gunmen to storm the compound.

Two suicide bombs followed shortly thereafter inside the Diyala government building, with the violence leaving at least seven dead and 17 wounded, according to the official.

Ahmed Alwan, a doctor at Baquba's main hospital, said earlier that medics had treated 10 wounded but he and other officials noted the toll could rise further. An interior ministry official put the toll at one dead and six wounded.

Tolls often vary widely in the immediate aftermath of violence in Iraq, with officials from various departments citing different figures.

AFP

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