At least 23 people have been killed and up to 100 others wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in Iraq. The blasts struck the western city of Ramadi.
First, a car bomb killed the attacker and four police officers; a second bomber, on foot then targeted local authority buildings with the governor of al-Anbar province among the injured.
Today’s attack follows a twin bomb blast on Christmas Eve in Hilla in southern Baghdad in which 12 people died, including a local politician. Three explosives experts attempting to defuse another bomb were among 91 people injured.
Al-Anbar was the centre of a Sunni insurrection after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Analysts believe pro-Saddam Baathists are now working in tandem with al Qaeda raising fears that violence will increase ahead of Iraq’s general election, scheduled for March 2010.