Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Baghdad rocked by deadly attacks

A woman walks through the site of a car bomb attack in the Shula neighbourhood in Baghdad (AP)
Iraqi security forces stand guard at a state-run transport company in Baghdad after an attack by gunmen and suicide bombers (AP)

Gunmen and suicide bombers have staged a brazen assault on a government building in Baghdad, killing two people before security forces regained control.

The firefight at a state-run transport company was one of several attacks that left 11 dead across the city, and came as Iraq grapples with a stubborn insurgency in the country's western Anbar province. Government troops are trying to oust al Qaida-linked fighters and their allies from cities in the area.

At least six gunmen were involved in today's attack, the Interior Ministry said. The attackers stormed the state-run Company for Transportation in Baghdad's Canal Street, where numerous government offices are located.

The police shot and killed four of the militants inside the building while the other two blew themselves up at the entrance. The stand-off ended with at least one employee and a policeman killed.

Iraqi troops sealed off the area as armed vehicles rushed to the scene. At least one army helicopter was seen hovering overhead.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. But co-ordinated and brazen attacks against Shiites, security forces and government buildings are frequently the work of an al Qaida supporting group in Iraq, which has been emboldened by the successes of its fellow militants in the civil war next door in Syria and by widespread Sunni anger at the Shiite-led government.

Also today, a parked car bomb ripped through a market in northern Baghdad killing at least four people and wounding 11. Another car bomb exploded at a bus station in eastern Baghdad killing five civilians and wounding 11.

The bombings in Baghdad occurred as Iraqi security forces and allied tribal militia fight to recapture parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi, and the city centre of nearby Fallujah from al Qaida-linked rebels and other groups. Clashes continued with state TV saying that at least 24 militants were killed, but gave no details.

AP

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