December has got off to a bloody start in Iraq, with more than 30 people killed today. Baghdad’s police academy was targeted by twin blasts. People were queuing up to enrol when a car bomb exploded. A suicide attacker also blew himself up. Earlier in the city, a roadside bomb wounded a senior Iraqi military officer and killed up to three other people. In Mosul, a suicide car bomber claimed at least 14 lives. Violence has fallen sharply over the last year but it did rise in November.
Today’s blasts came as Iraq prepares its security forces to take over responsibility from US troops. Under a pact passed by Iraq’s parliament, US forces will have to withdraw from towns by mid-2009 and leave the country by the end of 2011.