[QODLink]
Middle East
Multiple Iraq attacks leave many dead
Suicide blast kills 14 in Tal Afar, while Baghdad bombings leave three dead, as capital prepares for Arab League summit.
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2012 19:54
Recent violence comes two days after gunmen on a rampage killed 27 policemen [Reuters]

Attacks in Iraq have killed 17 people, including 14 who died in twin bombings in the northern town of Tal Afar, just weeks before the country is due to host a landmark Arab summit.

The violence on Wednesday, which also left 24 people wounded, comes two days after suspected al-Qaeda gunmen killed 27 policemen in a pre-dawn attack in western Iraq.

In Baghdad, the capital, two separate attacks in which fighters placed bombs inside vehicles killed three people and wounded nine, an interior ministry official said.

The city's security command centre released a statement calling on residents to "check their vehicles before driving and, after driving, do not leave your car in an unguarded public space".

Most of the casualties were Tal Afar, a majority Shia Turkmen town 380km north of Baghdad.

"At 1:00 pm (1000 GMT), a car bomb exploded in west Tal Afar, and five  minutes later, a suicide bomber blew himself up among the people who rushed to the scene," said town mayor Abid al-Al Abbas.

"In total, 14 people were killed and 15 wounded."

In March 2006, then US president George W Bush hailed Tal Afar as a model town due to the low levels of violence at the time.

Violence in Iraq has declined in recent years after peaking in 2006 and 2007. According to official figures, 150 people were killed in February.

The latest attacks come ahead of a March 29 summit of the Arab League in Baghdad, the first non-emergency meeting of the 22-nation body to be held in the city in more than 30 years.

President Jalal Talabani said on Monday that preparations for the summit were complete. "Baghdad is now ready to receive the Arab leaders," he said.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.