A string of morning rush hour bombings in central Baghdad on Thursday killed at least five people and wounded 17 in the latest wave of violence to hit the Iraqi capital, police said.
Four of those killed died when two roadside bombs targetting a checkpoint in central Baghdad went off in quick succession, police said.
Two of the victims were civilians and two were members of an anti-Qaeda “Sahwa” or Awakening group, who are often targetted by jihadists for siding with US forces in the fight against members of Osama bin Laden’s network.
Four people were injured in the blasts, which occurred in the busy commercial district of Sheikomar.
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Many Sahwa members are former insurgents who fought US and Iraqi forces after Saddam Hussein’s regime fell in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion, but since late 2006 sided with the Americans to battle Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
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Another roadside bomb detonated near the Al-Gailani mosque in Baghdad’s central Baba Alsheikh neighbourhood, killing one person and injuring four others, police said.
Also Thursday, a roadside bomb targetting a government pick-up truck in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr city injured nine people including five city employees, police said.