Two killed in Iraq violence

Baghdad, Feb 4: Two people were killed and 21 others wounded in violent attacks in and around Iraq’s capital Baghdad Tuesday, security sources said.

In one of the attacks, two people were killed and 10 wounded when a car bomb went off in Baiyaa district in the southern part of Baghdad, Saad Maan, spokesman of Baghdad Operations Command, said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.

Iraqi security forces captured a suspect at the scene, who confessed to his involvement in the attack, and he was taken into custody for further interrogation, Maan said.

In a separate incident, another car bomb detonated in al-Shurta al-Rabia district in the southwestern part of Baghdad, leaving six people wounded along with damaging several nearby buildings and civilian cars, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, an interior ministry officer was critically wounded when a sticky bomb attached to his car detonated while he was driving on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad, the source said.

In addition, a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in Taji area, just north of Baghdad, damaging a police vehicle and wounding four policemen on board, the source added.

Also in the day, two Katyusha rockets struck the headquarters of an army brigade inside the heavy fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, with no reports of casualties, the source said.

The Green Zone, which houses some of the Iraqi government offices and the US embassy, has been frequently targeted by insurgents’ mortar and rocket attacks.

The roughly 10-square-km zone is located on the west bank of the Tigris river which bisects the Iraqi capital.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.