17 killed in Baghdad bomb blasts

Three bombs exploded today within an hour in Baghdad, killing 17 people and injuring 48.

Three bombs exploded today within an hour in Baghdad, killing 17 people and injuring 48.

At about 10.40am local time, a device hidden under a car detonated as a police patrol was passing near the central Tahrir Square, said Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi, an Interior Ministry official. The blast missed the patrol but killed three civilians and injured 15, said police Lt. Ali Mitab.

Less than an hour later, a parked car bomb exploded in New Baghdad, a mostly Shiite neighbourhood on the south-eastern side of the city, killing at least 14 people and injuring 33, said police Lt. Ali Abbas. The blast happened near the district’s traffic police directorate.

Residents alerted police to another suspect vehicle in the eastern suburb of Kamaliyah. It exploded as police were clearing the area, causing damage to nearby shops and houses but no casualties, said Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi, an Interior Ministry official.

The capital has suffered a surge of violence since the February 22 bombing of an important Shiite shrine in the mainly Sunni city of Samarra, which triggered reprisal attacks against Sunnis.

At least 68 people were killed yesterday in bombings and mortar fire against mainly religious targets in the city.

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