Baghdad shaken by suicide attacks

_45070864_1b5b1efd-1370-4413-a4df-244ec9d8ff0b.jpgSuicide bombers have struck near two Shia mosques in Baghdad, killing 20 people and wounding another 25, Iraqi security officials said.

The attacks came as worshippers left mosques after prayers celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.

Eight people died in a suicide bombing in the Zafaraniya district, while 12 died in a suicide bombing in the Baghdad al-Jadida district.

Separately, six people were killed in an ambush north of Baghdad, police say.

A minibus driver, three women and two five-year-

old children were all shot dead near Baquba in Diyala province.

The victims were all Sunnis in an area where the Shia Mehdi Army has strong support, says the BBC’s Hugh Sykes in Baghdad.

Government officials had warned that militants might launch attacks around the time of Ramadan, one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar.

Checkpoint

In the Baghdad district of Zafaraniya, the suicide bomber drove his explosives-filled car into an Iraq military armoured vehicle at a checkpoint near a mosque, killing eight and injuring 10.

One witness told the Associated Press news agency that he saw a white car speed toward the mosque and then heard a huge explosion that sparked a fire and heavy smoke.

Map of Iraq

Ammar Hashim, 25, rushed to the site and saw “dead and burned bodies and many injured people crying out in pain”.

“Pools of blood and the smell of burned flesh was everywhere and I saw a man of about 70 bleeding and lying on the ground from injuries,” he said.

A Reuters cameraman at the scene described seeing a leg and other body parts more than 100m (328ft) from the centre of the blast.

In Baghdad al-Jadida, the suicide bomber struck as worshippers were leaving a nearby mosque, killing 12 and injuring 15.

The Reuters news agency said the bomber was a teenage boy who blew himself up after being accosted by a member of the security forces.

At least 32 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a string of bomb attacks in Baghdad on Sunday.

The Iraqi army has said that violence in the capital has spiked in the past few weeks.

However, violence in Iraq has reduced sharply this year.

Last month, 359 civilians were killed, while in September 2007, 884 died.

It is better but it is still not good, our correspondent says

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