Explosions rip through Baghdad, 4 killed

Explosions rip through Baghdad, 4 killed

Explosions rip through Baghdad, 4 killed

An Iraqi women hugs her children at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday. AP

The three explosions, which occurred within minutes of each other, were detonated in three parking lots at about 7:30 am as many people in the capital made their way to work or school. One of the explosions occurred near the Foreign Ministry, which had been heavily damaged by a bombing in August, another bomb was detonated near the Immigration Ministry, and a third near the Iranian Embassy where Defence Ministry officials park their vehicles.

All the sites were near the heavily guarded Green Zone, where alarms sounded for people to take cover.

At the blast near the Immigration Ministry parking lot, the bomb explosion was followed closely by the sound of cars detonating in sequence, sending jagged pieces of shrapnel in all directions. Plumes of heavy black smoke from the blasts could be seen for miles. Among the injured was a camera operator for an Iranian television station who had gathered with a group of other journalists waiting to be taken by the Iraqi army to a camp of Iranian dissidents near the border with Iran.

The man, who was struck by shrapnel, was bleeding heavily from a wound to the head. Other journalists aided him until he received medical attention.

The blasts came one week after a series of five apparently synchronised car bombs exploded in Baghdad, killing more than 100 people.

Iraqi and American officials have warned that as the scheduled March 7 national election approaches, violence in the country will likely increase as political parties and their supporters vie for advantage.