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Iraq car bombs kill 14: officials

July 31, 2012


Security forces gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion in a shopping area in Karradah, Baghdad. -AP Photo

BAGHDAD: Twin car bombs in Baghdad killed 12 people and wounded at least 47 others on Tuesday, while another attack west of the capital killed two and wounded three, security and medical officials said.

The latest violence brings the number of people killed in attacks across Iraq in July to at least 271, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical sources.

An interior ministry official said the twin blasts in Baghdad's central Karrada area killed 12 people and wounded 47.

The official said the first attack was by a suicide car bomber who blew up a vehicle at the rear of the police major crimes headquarters. A medical official put the toll at 19 killed, including five police, and 50 wounded, among them 10 police.

The explosions could be heard around a kilometre (half a mile) away.

One of the blasts destroyed the entire front of a building and multiple cars, shattered shop windows and scattered debris across the street. Emergency vehicles and security forces quickly descended on the scene of the blast.

Separately, two people were killed and three wounded by a car bomb north of Fallujah, which lies to the west of Baghdad, a major in the Anbar police and doctor Assem al-Hamdani of Fallujah Hospital said.

The attacks came a day after gunmen shot dead a television presenter and wounded his mother, wife and four-month-old baby boy, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory media rights group and a police officer.

Iraq regularly ranks near the bottom of global press freedom rankings. It was at 152nd place out of 179 countries in media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders' 2011-2012 World Press Freedom Index, down 22 from the year before.

Iraq saw a spike in unrest in June, when at least 282 people were killed in Iraq, according to the AFP tally. Violence has declined sharply from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common.