Last updated: 3 November, 2011

South Iraq bombings death toll rises to nine

Three motorbike bombings in the southern Iraq port city of Basra killed at least nine people and wounded at least 37, police and a doctor said on Thursday, raising a previous toll.

A police lieutenant colonel said that nine people were killed and 37 wounded in the Wednesday night bombings.

But a senior official in the Basra health department said that at least 12 people were killed and more than 70 wounded in the blasts.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

A doctor and a police officer had on Wednesday night put the toll at eight dead and at least 22 wounded in the bombings.

Basra province police chief General Faisal al-Abadi said that the explosives-laden motorbikes, which were parked in the city centre, had detonated about 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Wednesday.

Violence has declined nationwide since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 258 people were killed in October, according to official figures.