Middle East

Iraq: Diwaniya hit by deadly car bombings

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Media captionFootage shows the wreckage caused by the car bomb

At least 25 people have been killed in two car bomb attacks in Diwaniya in central Iraq, officials say.

The attacks targeted police barriers outside the compound of provincial governor Salim Hussein Alwan, who was unharmed.

Diwaniya is about 80 miles (130km) south of the capital, Baghdad.

Violence in Iraq has fallen sharply from its peak in 2006, although deadly bombings and shootings still occur on a daily basis.

Most of the victims of the attacks in Diwaniya are reported to be policemen. Dozens more were reported to have been wounded.

A police official said it appeared the plan was for the bombs to explode as the governor left for work in his convoy of vehicles, but he had been delayed inside the compound.

Mr Alwan told the Associated Press news agency: "I was in the garage preparing to leave when the attacker hit the police barrier outside."

The second blast took place seconds later, officials said.

Images from the scene showed widespread damage to nearby buildings.

It was not immediately clear if the explosions took place at the same checkpoint or if both attackers died in the blasts.

Diwaniya is in a mainly Shia region and several of Iraq's armed groups are said to be active in the area.

Last week, gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a provincial council building in the city of Baquba, killing at least eight people.