Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Monday, 12 January 2009

Spate of bomb attacks in Baghdad


Aftermath of the bomb attacks in Baghdad

At least eight people have been killed and more than a dozen injured after a series of bomb blasts ripped through Baghdad, Iraqi officials said.

At least three including a policeman died in two blasts in New Baghdad district in the east of the city.

In the west of the city, three Iraqi soldiers died when a roadside bomb hit their military convoy.

Two civilians were killed in explosions in the central commercial district of Karrada, and near a police checkpoint.

The blasts occurred during the morning rush hour. Police said the explosions had mainly targeted Iraqi security forces.

'Pools of blood'

The US military said Iraqi police were hit when explosives planted on a truck detonated as they responded to the first blast in New Baghdad.

"I rushed out with others to see three bodies on the ground in pools of blood, " a witness, Mohammed Nasir, told AP news agency.

"This place has witnessed several bombings before and we fear that violence will come back after a period of quiet."

The explosions occurred on a road running through the commercial district, which local residents said was frequently used by police and army convoys.

Iraq has become less violent since the US military surge was launched 18 months ago.

More recently, however, Iraqi security forces have been targeted as they increasingly take the lead in military operations.

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