Officials: Suicide blast kills 12 in Iraq
BAGHDAD: Three bomb attacks in Iraq including a blast inside a roadside restaurant killed 12 people on Monday, officials said, the latest in a surge of violence that has left nearly 2,000 dead since the beginning of April.
The bomb left inside the restaurant in Taji, which serves travelers on the highway linking Baghdad to several northern Sunni-majority cities, killed seven people including two women and a 12-year-old child, two police officers said. Twenty-five others were wounded.
Also in Taji, a bomb placed inside a minibus killed two commuters and wounding 11 others, the police added. Taji is a former insurgent stronghold, located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.
In the western town of Fallujah, a suicide bomber set off his explosives-laden belt among a group of policemen, killing three and wounding 21, another police said. The policemen were for waiting buses to be transferred them to a polling station to cast their ballots for Iraq's provincial elections.
Fallujah, part of Anbar, is located 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad. Iraq delayed April provincial elections there and in another Sunni-majority province, Ninevah, because of security instability. Residents of these provinces will cast their ballots on Thursday.
Three medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
The attack followed a day when at least 51 people were killed in a wave of bombs and shootings across Iraq. Violence has spiked sharply in Iraq in recent months, with the death toll rising to levels not seen since 2008. More than 190 have died this month alone.