In Iraq, a suicide bomber has struck the centre of Baghdad. The attacker apparently tried to drive through a police checkpoint and blast walls.
The building was badly damaged by the massive blast and the rubble was being searched by rescue teams. The death toll is at least 18, while 80 people have been wounded. It is reported that many of those injured or killed were police.
Bombers have struck in Baghdad for the second day running. Yesterday there was a trio of suicide attacks on three well-known hotels in the capital. The carnage ended six months of relative calm in Iraq.
The two attacks, which have claimed at least 53 lives, come as the country prepares for national elections in March and raise questions about the government’s pledge to keep people safe before the polls.