Iraqi officials say a series of bombings killed at least 18 people in Baghdad and Ramadi Tuesday, three weeks after Iraqi forces formally assumed security responsibilities in urban areas.
Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman General Abdul Karim Khalaf told VOA that Iraqi forces can handle their security duties without the assistance of the U.S. combat troops that withdrew from the cities on June 30.
In violence Tuesday, police say at least 15 people were killed and more than 100 others were wounded in multiple bombings in and around Baghdad. Three of those blasts occurred in the Shi'ite neighborhood of Sadr City.
The deadliest attack involved a series of bombings at a popular market, in Husseiniya just north of the capital that killed five people and wounded almost 30 others.
Elsewhere, in Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, three people died in a double bombing near a restaurant.
Parts of Anbar were once considered militant strongholds, but tribal leaders and former insurgents have turned against the militants.
There have been multiple deadly attacks in Iraqi cities in the weeks leading up to, and following, the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.
Police in the capital say one of the explosions in Baghdad Tuesday was a roadside bomb that targeted the convoy of Iraq's Water Resource Minister Abdul Latif Rasheed. Officials say six civilians were wounded in the attack, but no one in the minister's convoy was hurt.
And another roadside bomb wounded 12 members of a family as they traveled to a funeral in the capital.