Bombs target Iraqi police, Baghdad airport

May 26, 2011

Iraq was hit with another spate of violence Thursday morning when several high-ranking police commanders where killed near Fallujah and mortars where lobbed into the internationally-protected Green Zone and onto the grounds of Baghdad’s main airport, according to Iraqi security officials.

In Fallujah, the site of some of the fiercest fighting following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, gunmen attacked a police patrol with automatic weapons, killing two officers, officials reported. The gunmen then set the officers’ car on fire, apparently with their bodies still inside, officials said.

A short distance away, explosives detonated next to another police convoy carrying top leaders of the local force. The blast killed a police colonel, a lieutenant colonel and a captain while also injuring a driver, according to Maj. Walid Abbas of the Anbar police agency.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a group of Iraqi army officials gathering in the Abu Ghraib district, about 12 miles west of Baghdad. Two people were killed and five others were injured.

In Baghdad, mortar rounds landed inside the Green Zone early Thursday, according to Iraqi security officials. Also known as the International Zone, the heavily fortified area houses the U.S. and British embassies, a U.S. military base and several Iraqi government buildings. It was not immediately known whether there were any injuries or damage.

Although there has been an overall drop in violence in Iraq, mortars are frequently still fired at the Green Zone, often resulting in little damage and no injuries.

But mortars were also fired Thursday morning at the less frequently-targeted Baghdad International Airport, Iraqi security officials said.

At least five mortar rounds landed on airport grounds, where a limited number of commercial flights have resumed. Officials were not immediately able to say whether the attack caused any damage or injuries.

Explosions were also reported Thursday morning in Baghdad’s Shaab and Mansour districts, resulting in several injuries but no fatalities.

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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