Baghdad bombs target police, security personnel

Multiple bombs detonated in Iraq’s capital on Monday morning, jolting residents out of bed, killing at least one police officer and injuring several people, and startling a carful of security officials working for the French embassy, officials said.

The attacks were spread across Baghdad, but appeared aimed at police officers or government officials, highlighting the continued dangers Iraq’s politicians and security personnel face more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion. The violence followed several days of relative calm in the city.

In northern Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near a police patrol, killing a police officer and wounding two officers as well as two civilians.

Around the same time, in Baghdad’s affluent Karrada neighborhood, a roadside bomb exploded close to an armored car that was traveling near the French ambassador’s residence.

Ambassador Denis Gauer was not in the convoy. In an interview, he disputed reports from Iraqi security officials that four security guards were injured in the attack.

“It was an armored car and people in it were not injured,” said Gauer.

Iraqi officials also said three civilians were hurt in the explosion.

Gauer, who arrived in Iraq June 12, said Monday’s bombing was the second time in a month that an embassy vehicle has come under attack.

“We have had no incidents here. We have never been targeted since ’03,” Gauer said. “But now two.”

Meanwhile, in Baghdad’s Jadira district, two explosions detonated simultaneously on a commercial street near the Hamra Hotel, wounding two civilians. The hotel, which once was been home to many journalists and foreigners, was closed last year after three dozen people were killed in a bombing there.

A roadside bomb also detonated in western Baghdad on Monday, injuring three police officers and one civilian.

The flare-up in violence began late Sunday night when a district council chairman was shot and killed in a town about 20 miles north of Baghdad, according to police officials in Diyala Province.

According to local media accounts, there have also been several attacks during the past 24 hours in the Mosul area of northern Iraq, including an explosion that killed two children in a village just outside of town. In eastern Mosul, a teenager was gunned down Monday in front of his house, according to the Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Tim Craig is The Post’s bureau chief in Pakistan. He has also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and within the District of Columbia government.

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