Attacks in, near Iraq capital kill 14 people
BAGHDAD — A string of attacks in and around Baghdad, including bombings at marketplaces and busy commercial streets, killed 14 people and wounded dozens today, Iraqi official said, the latest in a wave of violence roiling the country.
A bomb went off during the morning rush hour in a commercial street in Baghdad’s western Amariyah neighborhood, killing four people and wounding 10, the police said.
Two shoppers were killed and eight were wounded when a bomb exploded at an outdoor market in the Abu Ghraib area, just west of the Iraqi capital, officials said. Also, they said, gunmen shot dead two policemen as they were heading to work in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad.
The city is the provincial capital of the western Anbar province and a former al-Qaida stronghold.
In the afternoon, five shoppers were killed and 13 were wounded when a bomb went off at a market in the town of Madain, 14 miles south of Baghdad.
Violence in Iraq has intensified since April to levels not seen since 2008. At least 450 people have died in attacks across the country so far this month, according to an Associated Press count.
Also today, authorities raised the death toll from attacks that took place the previous night targeting police in Anbar to 19 people, including three civilians. Earlier reports said eight policemen had died in the Anbar attacks.
In the first attack Tuesday night, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint at the entrance of the town of Rutba, killing five policemen. Another suicide bomber drove his car into a nearby bypass where a group of policemen were standing, killing four policemen and three civilian truck drivers. Clashes elsewhere in the volatile province killed seven more policemen.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures for the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks, though suicide and car bombings are a favorite tactic of al-Qaida’s local branch, which frequently targets places such as markets, cafes and commercial street in addition to members of the security forces.
Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report from Baghdad.