x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Coordinated blasts hit Iraqi city of Ramadi

A car bomb followed by two suicide attacks just minutes apart in Ramadi, 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, targeted Anbar provincial government offices in the centre of the city.

BAGHDAD // Coordinated bombings against provincial government offices in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi killed at least three people yesterday, while shootings in the capital left three policemen dead.

Three explosions - a car bomb followed by two suicide attacks - just minutes apart in Ramadi, 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, targeted Anbar provincial government offices in the centre of the city yesterday afternoon.

Three people were killed and 10 were wounded, according to an Iraqi army official and a doctor at Ramadi general hospital.

"Three bombs targeted the building of the Anbar provincial government in the centre of Ramadi," the army official said.

"The car bomb exploded near the eastern entrance leading to the government offices. Seven minutes later, two suicide bombers wearing explosives belts blew themselves up at the western entrances to the offices."

Ramadi has been the target of frequent attacks in recent months.

On January 17, a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed car in a convoy carrying Anbar governor Qassim Mohammed Abid, wounding three bodyguards and six policemen but leaving Mr Abid unharmed.

Anbar government offices were also targeted by attackers three times last year, and on December 30, 2009, Mr Abid lost his left hand in a suicide attack that killed 23 people and wounded 30.

The province was a key Sunni insurgent base in the years after the US-led invasion of 2003, but since 2006 local tribes have sided with the American military and day-to-day violence has dropped significantly.

In the capital, meanwhile, three policemen were killed by insurgents using silenced pistols in a drive-by shooting yesterday morning in the north Baghdad neighbourhood of Shaab, an interior ministry official said.

Violence is down across Iraq from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 239 people were killed in violence in the country in August, according to official figures.