Bombs kill 33 in Baghdad
Attacks near Green Zone, foreign ministryAgence France-Presse . Baghdad
Bombings in Baghdad, including three near the heavily-fortified Green Zone and the foreign ministry, killed 33 people on Wednesday, the latest in Iraq’s worst surge of violence in nearly six years.
The attacks, which wounded dozens more, came as security forces battle militants in the western province of Anbar, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a powerful jihadist group that has exploited the chaos in neighbouring Syria.
With violence at its highest level since 2008, diplomats have urged the Shia-led government to reach out to Sunnis in order to undercut support for militancy, but the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has taken a hard line ahead of April’s parliamentary elections.
Wednesday’s deadliest bombings, which included at least one suicide attack, struck during morning rush hour, ripping through confessionally-mixed areas of the capital bordering the Green Zone, home to parliament, the prime minister’s residence and the US and British embassies.
The three explosions killed 25 people and wounded another 35, security officials and a medical source said.
One attack was just opposite the foreign ministry, but accounts differed as to what caused the explosion. Two security officials said the blast was caused by a car bomb, but witnesses said a suicide bomber was responsible.
The area surrounding the ministry has been hit by explosions in the past, notably in August 2009, when a massive truck bomb devastated the building, and again ahead of an Arab summit in Baghdad in 2012.
A suicide bomber also hit a restaurant, and a vehicle rigged with explosives was detonated in a market for car spare parts, both close to the Green Zone.
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