Baghdad bombings kill at least 15: Iraqi police

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2012 1:48 AM

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Several bomb attacks hit Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens in mainly Shi'ite Muslim neighborhoods, Iraqi police said.

One car bomb killed at least nine people and wounded 27 in the upmarket Karrada neighborhood, hurling shrapnel into the next street and blowing out glass from nearby buildings. At least two other blasts hit Karrada, including another car bomb attack that killed one person, police said.

In the Iraqi capital's northwestern Kadhimiya district, a car bomb killed five people and wounded others.

Tensions have been high in Iraq as it struggles with its worst political crisis in the aftermath of the U.S. troop withdrawal from the country in mid-December.

Attacks against mostly Shi'ite targets surged after Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government moved against senior members of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya political bloc.

On Sunday, a suicide car bombing killed 19 people at a Baghdad police academy.

Maliki's fragile coalition of Sunni Arabs, Shi'ites and Kurds is negotiating to ease the crisis, which revived fears of a return to the sectarian strife seen in 2006-2007 when tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Ralph Gowling)