Authorities in Iraq say the number of people killed from a series of bomb blasts in Baghdad on Tuesday is much lower than previously reported.
Seventy seven are now reported to have died, down from yesterday’s figure of 127. Casualties have become politically sensitive ahead of an election in March with the Iraqi government’s efforts to claim credit for bringing increased security. More than 500 people were injured in the attacks, most of which were carried out by suicide bombers, and many Iraqis have been giving blood to help the victims. Despite question marks over security, Iraq’s prime minister remained defiant against the insurgents. ‘‘The enemies of freedom, democracy, stability and security – their malice is directed against our continued progress,’‘ Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said. The government has blamed Sunni extremists for the strikes which hit the heart of the Iraqi capital’s government district and were the second bloodiest this year. Earlier, today four people were also killed and dozens injured in two road side bombs.