Baghdad: Bombs targeting Iraqi officials and a Sunni militia leader killed at least three people and wounded more than 12 in separate attacks in Baghdad and north of the capital, officials said.
The violence began when a roadside bomb apparently aimed at a convoy carrying a senior Transportation Ministry official missed its target and killed two bystanders instead.
The 8 a.m. blast occurred in the mainly Sunni area of Dora, a former insurgent stronghold in southern Baghdad.
Abdullah Loaebi, the director-general of the ministry`s private transportation department, was unharmed, but police and hospital officials said two people were killed and eight others wounded.
A bomb attached to a car carrying the leader of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni group later exploded in Buhriz, a former Saddam Hussein stronghold about 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Baghdad in Diyala province.
Maj. Ghalib al-Karkhi, a police spokesman for Diyala, said the blast killed Raad al-Mujamai, the leader of the so-called Awakening Council in a nearby village.
A motorcycle bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol exploded in the Diyala provincial capital of Baqouba, wounding eight civilians. A roadside bomb also struck near the office of a Shiite religious party in Baghdad, wounding 10 people, including eight guards, according to police and hospital officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren`t authorized to release the information.
Senior bureaucrats and other government officials as well as members of Iraq`s security forces have frequently been targeted by insurgents seeking to destabilize the country as U.S. forces prepare for a full withdrawal from Iraq by the end of next year.
The number of attacks has declined sharply since local tribal leaders revolted against al-Qaida in Iraq in late 2006 and 2007. Fears are high, however, that frustration over a political deadlock following the March 7 parliamentary elections could stoke new violence.
There have been a series of high profile bombings in the city since August, killing hundreds of people and raising questions about the preparedness of Iraq`s security forces to take over from the Americans.