Twin bomb attacks kill three in Iraq

TWIN bomb attacks in western Iraq have killed three people while a string of four explosions in Baghdad wounded 10 others, officials say.

A total of 39 people were wounded in violence overnight.

In the capital, two bombs went off near alcohol shops in the commercial district of Karrada in central Baghdad, wounding four civilians, an interior ministry official said.

The two explosions, followed by sirens and gunfire, could be heard in central Baghdad.

Another bomb targeted an army patrol in Dura in the south of the capital, wounding three soldiers, while a fourth exploded in Al-Amil neighbourhood in south Baghdad, wounding three civilians, the official said.

The streets surrounding one of the Karrada explosions were closed off by Iraqi security forces, an AFP journalist said.

In the western predominantly Sunni city of Ramadi, meanwhile, two explosions against the home of a police officer killed three and wounded 24 others.

“Two bombs at a policeman’s house in the centre of Ramadi killed three and injured 24,” said Iyad Arak, the director of the main hospital in the city, 100km west of Baghdad.

An Iraqi police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the toll from the 8.30pm (3.30am AEST) explosions.

Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital, was a key Sunni insurgent base in the years after the US-led invasion of 2003, but since 2006 local tribes have sided with the American military and day-to-day violence has dropped dramatically.

The city has been the target of several attacks in recent months, however.

In June, at least three explosions near provincial government offices in Ramadi killed 10 and wounded 15. In January, a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed car in a convoy carrying Anbar governor Qassim Mohammed Abid, wounding three bodyguards and six policemen but leaving Abid unharmed.

Anbar government offices were targeted by attackers three times in 2010, and on December 30, 2009, Abid lost his left hand in a suicide attack that killed 23 people and wounded 30.

Five people were also wounded overnight by a roadside bomb in Baladruz, 75km northeast of Baghdad, an officer in the Baquba operations command said.

Violence in Iraq has declined from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 259 Iraqis were killed in attacks in July, the second-highest figure for 2011.

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