Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

18 dead in blasts, assault on Iraq ministry
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) March 14, 2013

A coordinated string of bombings and a brazen assault on a ministry near Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone killed 18 people on Thursday, in the Iraqi capital's deadliest violence this month.

The attacks, which drew condemnation from the US, UN and Iraq's parliament speaker, come just days before the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, and with barely a month to go before the country holds its first elections in three years.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the violence, but Sunni militants including those linked to Al-Qaeda often target government officials and offices in a bid to destabilise Iraq.

At least three bombs exploded in Allawi neighbourhood, near the foreign and culture ministries and offices of the communications ministry, at about 1:30 pm (1030 GMT), officials and witnesses said.

At around the same time, militants staged an apparently unsuccessful assault on the nearby justice ministry.

Overall, 18 people were killed and at least 30 wounded in the attacks, an interior ministry official and a medical source said.

All of the buildings lie near the Green Zone complex in central Baghdad, home to parliament, the prime minister's office and the American and British embassies.

"Some terrorists tried to infiltrate the justice ministry," said Sabah Noori, spokesman for Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service.

"The bombs... were coordinated with them (militants) trying to get into the ministry."

Gunfire was heard after the blasts, and smoke could be seen rising above the neighbourhood, witnesses said.

Security forces sought to bar the press from taking photos or video, according to an AFP journalist.

Accounts differed on how successful the militants were in their assault on the ministry.

An official in Baghdad's security command centre said three fighters were killed inside the justice ministry building, but ministry spokesman Haidar al-Saadi said clashes had occurred only outside.

An interior ministry official, however, said two fighters were killed in clashes while two others were suicide bombers who blew themselves up, one of whom did so near the justice minister's office.

Saadi said no ministry employees were hurt, and Iraqiya state television reported that security forces evacuated all employees from the building.

A justice ministry employee told AFP that staff escaped from the building via a rear entrance, and reported clashes between militants and security forces in which fighters used hand grenades.

Though such coordinated assaults are rare, Iraq has been struck before by them in previous years -- several ministries, police stations, prisons and provincial council offices have been hit by a combination of bombings followed by assaults in which militants tried to wrest control of official buildings.

Also on Thursday, a bombing targeted a candidate in Iraq's upcoming provincial elections, after another was kidnapped along with his father and other relatives north of Baghdad the night before.

A magnetic "sticky bomb" exploded on a car carrying Khaled Hussein al-Daraji, a candidate in Salaheddin province, killing his driver and wounding three nearby workers, although Daraji himself escaped unharmed.

And a tribal sheikh, Qais Abdul Karim al-Janabi, was kidnapped along with his son, Salaheddin provincial elections candidate Abdul Karim, and five other relatives in Siniyah, north of the capital.

Provincial elections are to be held on April 20, Iraq's first vote since March 2010 parliamentary polls.

Gunmen also wounded a soldier in the north Iraq city of Mosul on Thursday, while police found the body of a man who had been shot south of the city, police and a doctor said.

Violence has decreased from its peak in 2006 and 2007 when sectarian bloodshed raged between Sunni and Shiite Arabs.

But 10 years after the US-led invasion, attacks remain common, killing 220 people last month, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical sources.


Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Violent decade shatters dreams of Iraqi youth
Baghdad (AFP) March 14, 2013
Yasmine wants a future free of violence and fear, but like many young Iraqis, 10 years of bloodshed have made her doubt she can find such a future in her home country and she now wants to leave. The 25-year-old is one of a generation of Iraqis who grew up during the battles and brutal sectarian killings that followed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. In her central Baghdad home, Yasmine ... read more

Vega receives its upper stage as the next mission's two primary passengers land in French Guiana

Grasshopper Successfully Completes 80M Hover Slam

Musk: 'I'd like to die on Mars'

Ariane 5 vehicle for next ATV resupply mission in Kourou

Opportunity Examining Rock Surfaces After Reset

Why Wind Is The Driving Force On Mars

Maryland explores adaptations strategies for survival on Mars

NASA rover finds conditions once suited to life on Mars

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Seeks Public Support To Retrieve Apollo Era Moon Images

China sets moon mission re-entry test

Lunar impacts created seas of molten rock

China to use modified rocket for moon landing mission

'Vulcan' wins Pluto moon name vote

Public to vote on names for Pluto moons

The PI's Perspective: The Seven-Year Itch

New Horizons Gets a New Year's Workout

The Great Exoplanet Debate

Earth-sized planets in habitable zones are more common than previously thought

Astronomers Observe Planets Around Another Star Like Never Before

Astronomers Conduct First Remote Reconnaissance of Another Solar System

Swiss firm aims for low-cost satellite service

J-2X Engine 'Goes the Distance' at Stennis

Breakthrough Propulsion Physics

2014 maiden launch for Long March-7 rocket

China's fourth space launch center to be in use in two years

China to launch new manned spacecraft

Woman expected again to join next China crew roster

China's space station will be energy-efficient

Long Awaited, Comet PanSTARRS Now Glows in the Twilight

Comet PANSTARRS Rises to the Occasion Mid-March

Earth to get another asteroid viewing

A Naked-Eye Comet Invites Itself To The March Sky, 2013

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement