At least 23 killed in Baghdad bomb blasts

Three bombs exploded within an hour in Baghdad today, killing at least 23 people and injuring 56.

Three bombs exploded within an hour in Baghdad today, killing at least 23 people and injuring 56.

A car bomb exploded near a busy market in New Baghdad, a mostly Shiite neighbourhood on the south-eastern side of the city, killing at least 20 people and injuring 41, said police Lt. Ali Abbas.

The 11.30am (local time) blast happened near the district's traffic police directorate.

Less than an hour earlier, a device hidden under a car detonated as a police patrol was passing near the downtown 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.

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.

Later, gunmen ambushed a police convoy north of Baghdad, injuring at least four policemen, abducting about 10 and killing an unspecified number, police said.

The convoy of five minibuses was returning from a training session in Sulaimaniyah when it was attacked about 45 miles north-east of Tikrit, police Capt. Hakim al-Azzawi said.

A number of policemen were killed at the scene and at least four were seriously wounded, he said. The assailants drove off with one of the minibuses along with its 10 occupants, he added.

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