Car bomb targets Iraq interior ministry

A bomber in a car has blown himself up outside Iraq's interior ministry in Baghdad, killing 16 people in a bloody challenge to the prime minister's assertions that violence is on the decrease.

    A man is treated in a nearby hospital after the attack

    Police sources put the toll at 16 with 35 wounded on Monday. 13 of the dead were policemen they said.

    Interior ministry sources said at least 10 people were killed and 28 wounded in the attack, citing casualties from one hospital.
     
    The attack came a day after a spate of car bombings and shootings across Iraq killed about 60 people as thousands of US and Iraqi troops pressed on with an operation to gain control the capital.

    Operation Together Forward is designed to root out anti-government fighters, ease sectarian violence and raise the credibility and profile of the Iraqi security forces, whose performance will determine when US troops leave.

    Roadside bombs

    The US military also said on Monday that eight of its soldiers were killed in attacks in and around the Iraqi capital on Sunday.

    Four of the soldiers were killed when their vehicle was hit by a single roadside bomb north of Baghdad, the US military said.

    Two other US soldiers died in a roadside bomb attacks in west Baghdad.

    Roadside bombs are among the most lethal weapons used by armed fighters seeking to topple the Shia-led government backed by Washington.
     
    In a recorded interview with CNN on Sunday, Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister, said violence was on the decrease and that the country would never slide into a civil war. He refused to be drawn on a timetable for a US withdrawal.

    Clashes

    Also on Monday, as many as 25 soldiers and eight civilians were killed in clashes between militiamen loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, a populist Shia figure, and Iraqi and US forces in the town of Diwaniya, south of Baghdad, a local official said.

    Five Iraqi soldiers were also missing, said an army source.

    There was no immediate word from the US military.

    At least three policemen also died in a series of separate attacks in the northern city of Mosul on Monday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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