A suicide car bomb went off near the homes of senior Iraqi politicians in a heavily guarded neighbourhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring 12, police said. According to Reuters, they said the explosion damaged the homes of former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi as well as Saleh al-Mutlaq, leader of the National Dialogue Front, a small Sunni party.
Most of the victims from the blast in western Baghdad near the fortified "Green Zone" diplomatic and government compound were police and guards at a checkpoint. Mutlaq was in Amman, Jordan at the time of the explosion.
Meanwhile, gunmen killed the head of a Baghdad psychiatric hospital, police said on Tuesday. Ibrahim Mohammed Ajil was heading to his home in the Baladiyat district of eastern Baghdad late on Monday when gunmen on two motorcycles killed him.
On Monday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said security officials from the United States and Iran will meet in Baghdad next week to discuss stability in Iraq. "We have the agreement of both sides to resume the fourth round of talks," Zebari told reporters.
According to him, the Tuesday, December 18, meeting in Baghdad will involve a subcommittee of security experts, military officials and diplomats. "This will be a technical meeting follow-up to the last security experts' meeting," he said.