34 killed in Baghdad bomb attacks

Wednesday 05 February 2014 19.11
The attacks highlight fears over Iraq's ability to protect strategic sites
The attacks highlight fears over Iraq's ability to protect strategic sites

A spate of bombings in Baghdad killed at least 34 people today.

There were several blasts near the heavily-fortified "Green Zone" and a busy square in the centre of the capital, Iraqi security sources said.

The explosions came a day after two rockets were fired into the Green Zone, home to the prime minister's office and Western embassies.

They have heightened concerns about Iraq's ability to protect strategic sites as security deteriorates.              

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Sunni Islamist militants have been regaining ground in Iraq, particularly in the western province of Anbar, where they overran two cities on 1 January.

More than 1,000 people were killed in violence across the country in January alone, and last year was the bloodiest since 2008, when sectarian warfare began to abate from its height.

Security sources said two parked car bombs went off opposite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, killing 11 people.

The Interior Ministry gave a different version, blaming the "cowardly" attack on a suicide bomber on a motorcycle.             

"At around nine o'clock this morning, a terrorist suicide bomber riding a motorcycle tried to enter the security area of the ministry," it said in a statement.

"A group of guards stopped him at a checkpoint and denied him access so he blew himself and the bike up."             

In a separate incident, a suicide bomber driving a car detonated himself along with the vehicle outside a restaurant close to a checkpoint one street away from the Green Zone, killing eight people, security sources said.

An explosion near Khullani Square in central Baghdad left four more people dead, and later in the day, three car bombs blew up in quick succession in the southeastern Jisr Diyala district, killing a further 11 people.

Keywords: baghdad, iraq