Car bombing near Baghdad International Zone kills seven

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At least seven people have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack near the heavily-guarded International Zone in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, officials say.

The explosion took place in the morning rush hour at a checkpoint near the 14 July bridge over the River Tigris, which leads to the Karrada district.

Three security personnel were among the dead and an MP was reportedly injured.

The International Zone, formerly known as the Green Zone, is the location of most government offices and embassies.

"Cars were lining up waiting to be searched at the checkpoint that leads to the Green Zone and suddenly a speeding car exploded nearby," a police source who was on patrol told the Reuters news agency.

"Some people died inside cars and I saw two soldiers lying on the ground. We immediately closed the area," the source added.

The AFP news agency said MP Habib Hamza al-Turfi was among the 24 people who were hurt by the blast.

The attack comes just over a week since more than 100 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in mainly Shia areas of Baghdad. Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda are believed to have been behind them.

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