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Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Monday, 3 November 2008

Seven dead in Baghdad bomb blasts

Aftermath of Baghdad bomb - 3/11/2008
The attack damaged shops and cars in Baghdad's Karrada district

Three bombs have exploded in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding more than 20 others, police say.

Deputy Oil Minister Saheb Salman Qutub suffered minor injuries in another bomb attack in the city.

One of the explosions hit the busy Karrada district, damaging many shops.

The number of bombings in Baghdad has fallen in the last year, but two weeks ago an attack on a minister there killed nine people and wounded 20.

One bomb was detonated outside a police building in eastern Baghdad, and then as people ran away, a second bomb was set off in their path.

Police appeared to have been the target in the most serious attack, but it claimed the lives of six civilians.

The BBC's Andrew North in Baghdad says the tactic has been used countless time by insurgents since the US invasion five years ago.

Minister targeted

In the third explosion, the deputy oil minister of Iraq escaped a bomb attack on his convoy with minor injuries but a bodyguard was seriously hurt.

One policeman was killed in a bombing north of Baghdad, while another bomb exploded near a police patrol in west Baghdad, injuring one policeman and a civilian, police said.

Levels of violence remain significantly down from the peaks of two years ago, but attacks still happen every day.

One concern is over rising tensions between the Iraqi government and US-backed tribal groupings known as awakening councils, which have been fighting al-Qaeda, our correspondent says.

But awakening leaders accuse the authorities of dragging their feet in fulfilling promises to give some of their members jobs in the official security forces and it has emerged the government may also be planning to reduce their salaries, once they leave the American payroll.

Many of these people are former insurgents and could switch sides again, says our correspondent.



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