19 dead in Baghdad area bombings

Posted By: Pti
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Baghdad, May 22: More than a dozen bomb attacks in and around Baghdad today left at least 19 people dead, including 12 people killed in a suicide attack, and more than 80 wounded.

The series of attacks comes just days after blasts against police in a tense northern city killed 29 people, with just months to go before all US forces must withdraw from Iraq amid questions over whether local security forces are up to the task of maintaining stability in the war-wracked country.

A total of 12 roadside bombs, three vehicles packed with explosives, one magnetic "sticky bomb" and one suicide attacker struck in the spate of morning blasts on Monday, May 23, although it was not immediately clear to what extent, if any, the violence was coordinated.

The deadliest attack saw 12 people killed and 23 wounded in a suicide bombing in the town of Taji, 25 kilometres north of the capital, an interior ministry official said, on condition of anonymity.

A defence ministry official put the toll at 14 dead and 30 wounded in Taji.

A car bomb had initially gone off at around 9:00 am (1130 IST), in the town and when residents and ambulance crews arrived at the scene, the suicide bomber blew himself up, causing the casualties, the interior ministry official said.

Among the victims were eight police killed, while four policemen and three soldiers were wounded.

The interior ministry official said the initial car bomb had exploded as a US army convoy was passing through Taji, but an American military spokesman said he had received "no indication" of any such attack.

In Baghdad, four roadside bombs and a car bomb near a police station in the southern neighbourhood of Al-Amil killed two people and wounded 15, including three policemen.

Also in the south, a magnetic "sticky bomb" attached to a car in Dora neighbourhood killed an anti-Qaeda militiaman and wounded four of his comrades.

Two separate roadside bombs, one near a hospital and another near a popular market, in the predominantly Shiite north Baghdad district of Sadr City left two people dead and 14 wounded, the interior ministry official said.

Also in north Baghdad, a car bomb targeting a police brigadier general's convoy killed a civilian and wounded five people, including two of the senior commander's bodyguards.

Six other roadside bombs in south, central and east Baghdad killed one person and wounded 23 others.

Today's violence comes a day after seven people were killed in attacks in the disputed northern province of Kirkuk, further raising tension in the oil-producing region after three bombings killed 29 people in Iraq's deadliest day since late March.


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