Iraqi officials say 17 killed in car bomb blast

Government officials in Anbar have frequently been targeted by insurgents.

Baghdad: A car bomb exploded on Sunday outside government offices in a province west of the Iraqi capital, killing 17 people, officials said. It was the latest deadly hit on a favourite insurgent target.

At least 23 people were also wounded in Sunday`s blast, according to the police and hospital officials. The blast took place near the provincial council compound in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province.

Police found a second bomb in a nearby parking lot a few minutes later, but said they detonated it in a safe area.

The compound in Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometres) west of Baghdad, also houses the Anbar police headquarters and the governor`s office.

Government officials in Anbar, a former stronghold of al Qaeda militants and Sunni insurgents, have frequently been targeted by insurgents.

Nearly a year ago, the Islamic state of Iraq, an al Qaeda front group, claimed responsibility for an attack on the same compound. That attack caused Anbar Governor Qasim al-Fahadawi to lose an arm and undergo leg surgery in the United States.

The officials spoke on Sunday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media.

Bureau Report

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