Posted on Sun, Mar. 08, 2009
last updated: March 08, 2009 10:31:28 PM
BAGHDAD - At least 28 people were killed and 57 injured after a suicide bomber attacked a police recruiting center in central Baghdad early Sunday.
It was the deadliest attack in Iraq in almost a month and almost two months in the capital and punctuated a weekend of heightened violence in the country involving nine separate attacks.
On Saturday, there were two double explosions, which left three people dead and 20 injured, and on Sunday, there were five attacks, leaving at least 28 dead and 62 injured.
Iraqi security officials had no official comment. But one official said: "Iraq's security file is being passed from American forces to Iraqi authorities. The violence we are seeing is a desperate bid. It is not a trend, only isolated incidents." The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
In the deadliest single attack Sunday, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest rode a booby-trapped motorcycle into a crowd of police recruits. Because it occurred on Palestine Street, in area of mostly government buildings and wide empty spaces, few passersby were among the victims.
Iraqi police said it was the biggest explosion in the country since February 13, when a suicide bomber blew herself up in Musayib, near a shrine amidst a crowd of pilgrims walking to Karbala. That attack killed 35 people and injured 80, most women and children.
Earlier Sunday, a roadside bomb detonated in Ghazaliyah neighborhood in western Baghdad and targeted a Sahwa patrol, formerly Sons of Iraq, a mostly Sunni militia once sponsored by the U.S. and now under Iraqi control. The attack wounded three Sahwa members.
A short time later, a magnetic bomb detonated under a parliament employee's car at an intersection in downtown Baghdad near an Army recruiting post. The attack, at around 7:40 a.m. wounded two people, including the employee.
In Diyala Province, northeast of Baghdad, police found mass graves containing the bodies of 25, who are believed to have been killed by Al Qaida some months ago.
(Issa is a special correspondent)
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