Middle East

Iraq bombs: Police targeted in capital Baghdad

A soldier and policemen inspect the site of a bomb attack at a police station in Baghdad's Hurriya district on Wednesday
Image caption There has been a resurgence of suicide attacks in Baghdad

Car and roadside bombs in Baghdad have killed at least 28 people, including police officers, officials say.

Two suicide bombers detonated explosives-laden vehicles minutes apart in north-western Hurriya district and central al-Wiya district, reports said.

They killed 22 and at least another six died in other bombs, police said.

The resurgence of suicide attacks inside the capital is a worrying development even by Iraqi standards, says the BBC's Rami Ruhayem in Baghdad.

It comes as the last US troops prepare to withdraw by the end of the year.

Police targeted

In Wednesday morning's attacks, one of the suicide bombers struck at al-Wiya police station, located at one of Baghdad's main road junctions.

Another drove his car into the police checkpoint in the Hurriya neighbourhood, a busy residential area - and reportedly a stronghold of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr - which is surrounded by blast walls.

More than 50 people were injured in those two attacks.

In other attacks in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday officials said:

  • A car bomb targeted a police patrol in the south of the city, killing three
  • Two police died in a roadside bomb attack in the west of the city
  • Another roadside bomb, also in a western district, targeted an Iraqi army patrol but killed one civilian
  • There were further violent incidents which caused injuries, AFP news agency reported - a silenced pistol attack on a checkpoint and a magnetic "sticky bomb" attached to a car
  • A further two car bombs were detected and dismantled, according to al-Iraqiya TV in Baghdad

The military spokesman for Baghdad, Qassim al-Moussawi, blamed al-Qaeda for the attacks, saying they were an attempt to show people that the militants were still active.

"Every three months or so, al-Qaeda mobilises all its resources to launch such attacks in one day to say that al-Qaeda is still able to attack and threaten security posts," he said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Wednesday's attacks will intensify concerns about the security situation in the capital as the last US forces prepare to leave - though reports suggest Washington and Baghdad are discussing whether to leave some US forces behind as trainers.

At least nine people died in three blasts in Baghdad on Monday.

Correspondents say police are especially vulnerable to such attacks as they do not boast the heavy equipment or weapons of the Iraqi army. The army has also received the bulk of US training assistance.