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Suicide bombers kill nine in Iraq

Two suicide bombers have blown themselves up and killed nine people at the government compound in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, local officials said.

The first blast occurred when a suicide bomber drove a minibus packed with explosives into the entrance of the main government compound, said official spokesman Mohammed Fathi.

As people gathered to observe the destruction, another man detonated his explosive vest in their midst, said police and hospital officials.

The officials in the Iraqi province of Anbar said another 43 people were injured by the blasts.

Insurgents frequently go after government targets in an effort to destabilise the US-backed authorities, especially now as American troops prepare to leave by the end of next year.

Consecutive blasts meant to catch bystanders and rescue personnel became a hallmark of al Qaida in Iraq over the past few years.

Ramadi is the seat of the Anbar provincial government and used to be a stronghold of al Qaida. But recently, local militias have managed to bring a measure of calm to the city and province.

The complex, which houses various government agencies, including the governor's offices, has been bombed twice this year.

In July, a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a reception room outside the governor's office. Earlier this month, a suicide bomber exploded outside the office complex, killing 17 people, including women and elderly people waiting to collect welfare cheques.

In a separate incident, three members of the same family were killed when a roadside bomb hit their car outside the town of Dujail, 50 miles north of Baghdad. A one-year-old child was also injured in the blast, police and hospital officials said.

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