|Wednesday’s attacks came after a wave of bombings killed at least 42 people last week [Reuters]|
Two car bombings in and near Baghdad have left at least six people dead and several others injured, according to Iraqi security and medical sources.
In Baghdad, a car bomb in the eastern Al-Amin neighbourhood killed three people and wounded at least nine others, officials said on Wednesday.
Another car bomb in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad, struck as a joint army-police patrol was passing, killing three security force members and wounding another soldier, a police officer and hospital officials said.
In Diyala province north of the capital, gunmen attacked a checkpoint east of the provincial capital Baquba late on Tuesday, killing a member of the Sunni Sahwa armed group.
The latest attacks come less than a week after a wave of bombings claimed by al-Qaeda killed at least 42 people across the country and just a month before Baghdad is due to host an Arab League summit.
Death toll discrepancy
Iraqi authorities on Wednesday released figures showing nearly 70,000 people died in violence from 2004 to 2011, markedly fewer than numbers cited by other sources.
“Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh announced that the number of victims … from April 5, 2004 to December 31, 2011 reached 69,263 martyrs and 239,133 wounded,” the statement said.
Violence in Iraq is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, killing 151 people in January.
The statement said that 21,539 people were killed and 39,329 wounded in 2006, as Iraq was engulfed in sectarian conflict, while in 2011, 2,777 people were killed.
However, other figures released by the human rights ministry said in an October 2009 report that 85,694 people were killed from 2004 to 2008.
The US military’s Central Command posted figures on its website in July 2010 that indicated that 76,939 Iraqis, including security forces members, had been killed from January 2004 to August 2008.
Independent British website www.iraqbodycount.org says that at least 114,584 civilians were killed in violence in Iraq from the US-led invasion of 2003 through to December 30, 2011.