Bombs rip through Baghdad

Up to three bombs in quick succession during peak morning rush hour in the centre of Iraq’s Baghdad have killed at least four people.


The first car bomb exploded near the Iranian embassy around 7.30am (1630 AEDT) on Tuesday, the second minutes later near the foreign ministry and the third soon after near the ministry for emigres and displaced persons.

The car bombings were the fourth wave of coordinated attacks in four months to target official buildings in the Iraqi capital despite the security measures in place.

On August 19 a double suicide attack against the foreign and finance ministries killed 106 people and injured some 600.

On October 25 it was the turn of the justice ministry and a provincial office, with the blasts killing 153 people and injuring more than 500.

And on December 8 five attacks in Baghdad killed 127 and injured 448.

Tuesday’s blasts, near the highly protected “Green Zone” where the US and British embassies are located as well as the Iraq prime minister’s office, come just days after senior officials were grilled by lawmakers over the series of blasts to strike the capital.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appeared before parliament last week, where he criticised lawmakers for failing to provide enough money for security.

Lawmakers instead pointed to a lack of coordination between ministries.

The commander of US forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, recently predicted a rise in the number of attacks ahead of legislative elections scheduled for March 7, and said that he could request Washington to slow down the withdrawal of US troops from the country if necessary.

US combat troops are due to leave Iraq by August 2010. Some 115,000 US troops are currently serving in Iraq.

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