15 killed, 80 wounded in bombs in Iraq
A total of 15 people were killed and more than 80 others wounded Wednesday in a series of car bomb attacks across Iraq, on the eve of Muslim festival marking the Islamic lunar new year, the police said.
The deadliest attack occurred in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, when four car bombs killed a total of nine people and wounded some 32 others, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
One of the attacks reportedly went off in the central of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, and the second ripped through the city of Hawija, some 50 km southwest of Kirkuk, the source said.
A third car bomb detonated near the office of a Kurkish party in a village, just south of Kirkuk, while a fourth exploded at a parking lot in northwestern Kirkuk, the source added.
Another car bomb attacked at a crowded marketplace near the city of Hilla, some 100 km south of Baghdad, killing up to six people and wounding some 37 others, an interior ministry source anonymously told Xinhua.
Earlier, the source put the toll at four killed and nine injured by the blast.
In Baghdad, a car bomb detonated near the convoy of a senior police officer at al-Firdos Square in central city, wounding two of his bodyguards and five civilians, the ministry source said.
One more car bomb exploded at a marketplace in the town of Baladruz, east of the provincial capital city of Diyala, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, wounding seven civilians, a provincial police source told Xinhua.
Violence and sporadic high-profile bomb attacks are still common in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease in violence since its peak in 2006 and 2007, when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.