48 killed, 119 wounded in Iraq violence
Updated: 2014-02-06 10:06
BAGHDAD - A total of 48 people were killed and 119 others wounded in violent attacks across Iraq on Wednesday, mostly in the capital city of Baghdad, officials and police said.
A series of bomb explosions rocked the Iraqi capital from morning to evening on Wednesday, killing at least 37 people and wounding 91 others.
In the morning, a car bomb went off at a parking lot outside the Iraqi Foreign Ministry building in the city center, which is adjacent to the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses some government offices and the U.S. embassy, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on its website said that its guards foiled an attack carried out by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle at about 9:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT), but the attacker was forced to blow himself up before reaching the outer checkpoint.
According to the ministry's statement, 11 employees and guards were killed and 10 others wounded in the attack.
Another attack occurred when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest at a restaurant frequented by security members in the same area near the Green Zone.
However, Brigadier General Saad Maan, the spokesman of Baghdad Operations Command, said that a total of 20 people were killed and 28 others wounded by the two attacks outside the Foreign Ministry and the restaurant.
A third blast took place on Wednesday morning in Sinak commercial district on the eastern bank of the Tigris river that bisects the capital, leaving up to five killed and nine wounded, the Interior Ministry source said.
Separately, a Katyusha rocket in the afternoon struck an intersection on Haifa street in downtown Baghdad and wounded six people, the source said.
Shortly before the sunset, two car bombs detonated in quick succession in Jesr Diyala district in the southeastern part of Baghdad, killing ten people and wounding 24 others, a police source anonymously told Xinhua.
Another car bomb detonated in the nearby district of Zaafaraniyah, wounding eight people, the source said without elaborating.
In the evening, two people were killed and 10 others injured when a car bomb exploded near a restaurant in the area of Doraa in southern Baghdad, a police source said, adding that six people were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a cafe in the same area.
Also on Wednesday, a suicide car bomber attacked a checkpoint of the Iraqi army in Nuaimiya south of Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad, killing five soldiers and wounding seven others, a local police source said.
Another suicide car bomber attacked an army checkpoint in the town of Saqlawiya, some 20 km north of Fallujah, killing three soldiers and wounding 11 others, the source added.
Three suicide bombers attacked a police headquarters in the city of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, killing one policeman and wounding seven others, police said.
Unidentified gunmen attacked two checkpoints in Tikrit, 170 km north of Baghdad, and clashed with security forces, leaving two policemen dead and three members of the pro-government Awakening group wounded.
Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in recent years.
Iraqi security forces take part in an intensive security deployment during clashes with al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the city of Ramadi, 100 km (62 miles) west of Baghdad, February 4, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]