16 people killed, 55 wounded in Iraq's violence

00:03, December 28, 2010      

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Up to 16 people were killed and 55 were wounded in separate attacks across Iraq, including a twin suicide bombing in western the country on Monday, the police said.

One of the most deadly attacks during the day was a twin suicide bomb attack targeting a government buildings complex in central Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's western province of Anbar.

The coordinated attack took place before noon when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint at the entrance of a government buildings complex in central Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, a source from Anbar's operations command told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Almost simultaneously, another suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up outside a government bank and a nearby court house, close to the site of the first attack, the source said.

"A total of 14 people, including four policemen, were killed and 52 people, most of them were civilians, wounded by the blasts, " the source said, citing a report from the city hospital.

Earlier, the source put the toll at nine killed and 40 wounded.

The powerful blasts left 12 government and civilian cars charred at the scene, which was cordoned off by the Iraqi security forces for hours, the source added.

Insurgent attacks continue in the once volatile Sunni Arab area in west of Baghdad that stretches through Anbar province to Iraq's western borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The cities in province and its vast desert area has been relatively calm for more than three years after Sunni tribes and anti-U.S. insurgent groups turned to cooperate with the U.S. troops and the Iraqi security forces against al-Qaida network in Iraq.

In a separate incident, a roadside bomb struck a civilian car near the city of Dujail, some 60 km north of Baghdad, killing a Christian woman and wounded her husband, a local police source said.

The blast, apparently, missed a U.S. patrol and hit the civilian car instead, the source said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, an Iraqi army officer was killed when a sticky bomb attached to his car detonated while he was driving in the city of al-Khalis, near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

Diyala province, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border east of the country, has long been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants and other insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 despite repeated U.S. and Iraqi military operations against them.

In Baghdad, gunmen using silenced weapons opened fire on a sport utility vehicle (SUV) belonging to the Interior Ministry in Baghdad western district of Yarmouk, wounding two policemen aboard, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Violence and sporadic high-profile bomb attacks continue in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease of violence over the last three years.

Source: Xinhua
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