[QODLink]
Middle East
Deadly blasts hit Iraqi cities
At least 15 people killed and dozens injured in attacks in three cities.
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2009 02:06 GMT

The attacks follow the withdrawal of US forces from major Iraqi urban areas [AFP]

Bombs have exploded in three Iraqi cities killing at least 15 people.

In the deadliest attack on Monday a suicide car bomber killed at least seven people and wounded 15 others at a security checkpoint in western Iraq, police said.

Security and hospital officials said three policemen were among those killed when the bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into a checkpoint near Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province.

Mohammed Hussein Alwan, a 40-year-old farmer, said he was riding in a lorry about 200 metres from the attacker's car when the blast occurred.

"I ran to the site and saw five burning cars and a child who was thrown by the explosion and landed on the top of a car," he was reported by The Associated Press as saying.

"I tried to approach him to see whether he was alive or dead, but the police started to open fire in all directions and we had to run away," he added.

Shia targets

In another suicide attack on Monday, a man dressed as a policeman killed four people and injured 20 more after detonating his explosive vest next to a Shia mosque in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, police said.

Worshipers were gathering for evening prayers at the time, in the city 65km northwest of Baghdad, the capital.

A separate incident also occurred in Kerbala, a mostly Shia city 80km south of Baghdad, where a bomb exploded on a bus.

The blast killed four people and wounded another eight, police said.

Ramadi was once a key al-Qaeda stronghold following the US-led invasion of 2003, but violence has significantly decreased since 2006, when local tribes sided with the US military.

Sporadic attacks

Sporadic attacks still continue in the province, with a series of bombings in July prompting Iraqi security forces to declare a state of emergency there.

Diyala province has remained restive while other areas of Iraq have seen levels of violence fall.

The withdrawal of US forces from towns and cities in Iraq at the end of June had raised concern that the country would see a renewed surge in violence.

Over the last two months Iraq has seen a number of deadly attacks, including a bombing at government ministries in Baghdad in August that killed almost 100 people.

There have also been a series of attacks in areas of northern Iraq where tension is high between Arabs, Kurds and other minorities.

The violence has shaken public confidence ahead of national elections in January.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.