Middle East

Iraq city of Ramadi hit by attacks on police station

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Media captionThe aftermath of the car bomb attacks in Ramadi

At least seven people were killed when insurgents stormed a police building in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

The two-hour siege was preceded by multiple car bomb attacks in the city.

There were reports that at least a dozen were injured during the assault on the building, which houses an anti-terrorism unit and a prison.

Ramadi - 100km (60 miles) west of Baghdad - was once a stronghold for the insurgency led by al-Qaeda.

Militant attacks in the city are now intermittent.

Al-Qaeda prisoners

AFP news agency quoted two police officers, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying that two car bombs went off near the Dawlah Kabir Mosque in central Ramadi at around 11:30 (08:30 GMT).

A third car bomb also went off in the city centre, and a fourth car bomb detonated near the police building a short while later.

Two suicide bombers then blew themselves up inside the building before armed insurgents moved in, the news agency reported.

"The attackers controlled the roof of the building, and clashes started between police and the attackers," Anbar security command chief Abdulaziz Mohammed Jassim said, according to AFP.

"After two hours, the police forces entered the building and all the suicide bombers detonated themselves."

On Saturday, a suicide bomber targeting Shia pilgrims killed 53 people on the outskirts of the southern city of Basra.

The violence comes only weeks after US troops completed their withdrawal from Iraq and amid a political crisis, which has seen tensions rise between the country's Shia majority and Sunni minority.

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