23 Dec 2011

14 bombings in Baghdad

6:40 am on 23 December 2011

A series of bomb explosions in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has killed at least 63 people and wounded 185 others.

The interior ministry said the blasts were in 14 locations in both Sunni and Shia areas.

They exploded as many people were travelling to work during the morning rush-hour on Thursday.

Four were car-bombs and 10 were IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Major General Qassim Atta said they had not been aimed at security targets.

The bombings were the worst in months.

The BBC reports there are fears of rising sectarian tensions as the unity government faces internal divisions.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks.

The last American troops departed from Iraq on Sunday.

An arrest warrant was issued on Monday for Sunni Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi on terror charges.

Mr Hashemi denies the charges. He is currently in Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, under the protection of the regional government.

The main Sunni bloc in parliament accuses Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of monopolising power.