BBC News

Iraq car bomb leaves three dead in Baghdad


At least three people have been killed in a car bomb attack in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, officials say.

Nine people were also injured when the vehicle exploded during rush hour on a main street of a shopping area in the eastern district of Amin.

There has been a rise in attacks in Iraq since US troops left in December, leaving more than 200 people dead.

Last Thursday, at least 55 died in a wave of bombings and shootings across the country, but primarily in Baghdad.

The violence has come amid a marked deterioration in Iraq's fragile political process, with the country's most prominent Sunni Arab politician being sought by the authorities on terrorism charges.

Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi has denied the accusations against him and has fled to the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq.

In a separate development, the Iraqi government has announced that 69,263 people were killed "as a result of terrorist attacks and violence and military operations" between 5 April 2004 and 31 December 2011.

The deadliest year was 2006, when 21,539 died and 39,329 were wounded, a statement said, citing the health ministry and national security council. In 2011, 2,777 were killed, it added.

The figures are significantly lower than those from other sources, including the Iraqi human rights ministry, which said in October 2009 that 85,694 people had been killed between 2004 and 2008.

The campaign group Iraq Body Count says between 105,439 and 115,149 have been killed since the US-led invasion in 2003.