Ammar Karim, AFP
Last updated: 20 September, 2011

Iraq violence leaves five dead

Violence across Iraq, including coordinated bombings against provincial government offices in the western city of Ramadi, killed at least five people on Tuesday, officials said.

Three explosions — a car bomb followed by two suicide attacks — just minutes apart in Ramadi, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad, struck against Anbar provincial offices in the centre of the city Tuesday.

At least one person was killed and four wounded, according to defence ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al-Askari. Earlier, a military official and a doctor at Ramadi general hospital had put the toll at three dead and 10 wounded.

Conflicting tolls are common in the aftermath of attacks in Iraq and their ensuing chaos.

“Three bombs targeted the building of the Anbar provincial government in the centre of Ramadi,” the army official said.

“The car bomb exploded near the eastern entrance leading to the government offices. Seven minutes later, two suicide bombers wearing explosives belts blew themselves up at the western entrances to the offices.”

Askari said the blasts had occurred soon after he and Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi had visited the city to meet local officials over the slaying of 22 Shiite pilgrims in Anbar last week.

Ramadi has been the target of frequent attacks in recent months.

On January 17, a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed car in a convoy carrying Anbar Governor Qassim Mohammed Abid, wounding three bodyguards and six policemen but leaving Abid unharmed.

Anbar government offices were also targeted by attackers three times in 2010, and, on December 30, 2009, Abid lost his left hand in a suicide attack that killed 23 people and wounded 30.

The province was a key Sunni insurgent base in the years after the US-led invasion of 2003, but since 2006 local tribes have sided with the American military and day-to-day violence has dropped dramatically.

In the capital, meanwhile, three policemen were killed by insurgents using silenced pistols in a drive-by shooting on Tuesday morning in the northern neighbourhood of Shaab, an interior ministry official said.

Gunmen also killed a police colonel in front of his home in the northern city of Mosul, a police officer said.

Violence is down across Iraq from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 239 people were killed in violence in the country in August, according to official figures.