News / Middle East

Iraqi Violence Kills 22

A suicide bomber slammed his car packed with explosives into the gate of a prison near Baghdad Monday, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 24 others.

Iraqi officials said the blast took place Monday morning at the entrance to the al-Hout prison in the town of Taji, some 20 kilometers north of the capital, as family members were gathering to visit inmates.  Authorities said the dead included at least 10 security personnel and several civilian workers.

In Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone Monday, at least one person was killed and six others wounded, including an Iraqi lawmaker, by a mortar round near the parliament.

And in western Baghdad, two people died and at least four others were wounded by a bomb blast in the Mansur area.

The car bombing was the third major attack in Iraq in the past week.  Bombings and shootings in and around Baghdad killed at least 15 people Saturday, while a triple bombing in the southern city of Basra killed at least 19 people Thursday.

Violence has declined across Iraq since a sectarian conflict peaked in 2006 and 2007, but deadly attacks remain common as U.S. troops prepare to leave the country at the end of this year.

Iraqi authorities say 258 people were killed in violence in October, including civilians and security personnel. U.S. and Iraqi officials have said insurgents may intensify attacks in the final stage of the U.S. military pullout to take advantage of a perceived power vacuum. But, they say Iraqi forces will be ready to deal with the country's security problems on their own.

Some information for this report provided by AP,AFP and Reuters.

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