Explosions kill 23 in Iraq province

Explosions kill 23 in Iraq province


The strategically important Anbar province was once the heartland of support for al-Qaeda-linked militants, before many insurgents turned on the terror organisation and joined forces with US troops and the Iraqi government.

While violence in Iraq has dropped considerably since the height of the conflict in 2006 and 2007, a reinvigorated insurgency in Anbar — which is also Iraq’s largest province — could pose a serious risk to the country’s stability as it prepares for elections in March. The bombings are also the latest in a string of attacks to target government buildings in the country, as a way to undermine Iraqis’ confidence in the ability of the government to protect itself. Insurgents trying to ignite sectarian violence also killed six people at a Shiite mourning event north of Baghdad, officials said. Police official Lt Col Imad al-Fahdawi said two bombs exploded in Anbar’s capital of Ramadi. He said a suicide bomber in a car caused the first blast near a checkpoint on the main road near the provincial administration buildings.

Governor Qassim al-Fahdawi, the deputy police chief and other officials came to inspect the damage, the police official said, when a suicide bomber on foot detonated a vest full of explosives nearby.
The deputy police chief was killed and the governor and other officials wounded, al-Fahdawi said. Police have put a curfew in place, he added.A doctor at the main hospital in Ramadi said 23 people had been killed. He said the governor had suffered burns on his face, injuries to his abdomen and other areas.
AP

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