Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wave of bombs hits Baghdad police, 17 dead

Two suicide car bombers and a string of other attacks hit police across the Iraqi capital Baghdad Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and wounding 70, officials said.
One bomber rammed an explosives-filled car into a police station in central Alwiya district, killing 6 people including four policemen, and another bomber blew up his car at a police building in northwestern Hurriya, killing at least five people.
"A car approached... the driver smashed through the checkpoint and exploded the car when he hit a concrete barrier," Police Lt. Nadeer Adel told Reuters. "Smoke was everywhere, we all took cover. Minutes later we found a crater and some of our police were dead."
Another car bomb targeted a police patrol in southern Ilaam district, killing at least three, while a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol also in Hurriya, killing one civilian and injuring 12 people, mostly soldiers, police said.
Two police officers were killed and seven people wounded when a roadside bomb hit a police patrol in the mainly Shi'ite Washash district in western Baghdad.
The wave of apparently coordinated bombings underscored the ability of insurgents to hit multiple targets in the capital despite security improvements and a fall in violence in Iraq as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw by the end of this year.
At least 10 people were killed Monday in three successive blasts in Washash district.
The number of bombings and attacks has fallen sharply from its peak during the sectarian slaughter in 2006-2007, but Sunni Islamists tied to al-Qaeda and radical Shi'ite militias are still a threat in the OPEC producer.
Insurgents this year have increasingly targeted local security forces and local government offices outside the capital in what Iraqi officials say is an attempt to show that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government cannot provide security as U.S. troops leave.
More than eight years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, the last 44,000 U.S. troops are preparing to leave Iraq when a bilateral security pact expires, though Baghdad and Washington are in talks about whether some will stay on as trainers.

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