Middle East

Iraq: Bomb blasts in Baghdad kill at least 15

Map locator

A series of explosions in and around the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Saturday has killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 20, officials say.

Three bombs exploded in the commercial Bab al-Sharqi district of central Baghdad, killing eight people.

Another two explosions hit a truck carrying construction workers on the road between Baghdad and Falluja.

Violence in Iraq has fallen in recent years, but militants still carry out regular attacks.

"I saw a woman, who was serving tea to customers, lose a leg in one of the explosions," a market vendor near the site of the Bab al-Sharqi blast told the AP news agency.

Fallujah Hospital "received seven bodies and seven wounded" from the truck blast, Dr Omar Delli told the AFP news agency. Two of the wounded later died, he said.

Violence has declined from its peak in 2006-2007, but the attacks have raised concerns over whether the planned withdrawal of US troops will lead to a worsening of the security situation.

The last US troops are due to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.

However, the US and the Iraqi government are in talks over whether to retain a limited American presence into 2012.