Ten killed in three explosions in western Iraq
RAMADI, Iraq — At least three explosions near provincial government offices in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi killed 10 people and wounded 15 on Thursday evening, security officials said.
Two other officials said a fourth explosion took place in the city, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad, as emergency services rushed to treat casualties.
“At least 10 people were killed and 15 wounded when three simultaneous blasts hit the governorate offices in Ramadi at 8:30 pm (1730 GMT),” a police lieutenant in the Anbar provincial capital said.
The officer said the casualty toll was a preliminary one.
A police major, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the toll.
“The first explosion was a roadside bomb, followed by a suicide bomb, and the third was a car bomb driven by a suicide attacker,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Ismail, spokesman for Anbar military command.
“The fourth explosion was the same as the third — the first three were near the governorate building and the fourth was near Ramadi general hospital,” added Ismail, who put the toll at four dead and 14 wounded.
Ramadi has frequently been the target of attacks in previous months.
On January 17, a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed car in a convoy carrying Anbar governor Qassim Mohammed Abid, wounding three bodyguards and six policemen but leaving Abid unharmed.
Anbar provincial government offices in Ramadi were targeted by attackers three times in 2010, and on December 30, 2009, Abid lost his left hand in a suicide attack that killed 23 people and wounded 30.
The province was a key Sunni insurgent base in the years after the US-led invasion of 2003, but since 2006 local tribes have sided with the American military and day-to-day violence has dropped dramatically.
Violence has fallen sharply across Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007, though attacks remain common. A total of 177 Iraqis were killed as a result of violence in May, according to official figures.