Bombers kill five at Iraq provincial govt compound
AFP, Wednesday 16 Apr 2014

Two suicide bombers blew up vehicles packed with explosives outside a government compound in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Wednesday killing five people, police and a doctor said.

The twin attacks come as Iraq's security forces battle to win back control of Anbar province after militants overran parts of Ramadi and all of the city of Fallujah, to its east, in early January.

The bombers each attacked one of the two entrances to the compound, which includes the governor's office, provincial council building and a military headquarters, a police lieutenant colonel and an army captain said.

The blasts killed three soldiers, a policeman and a civilian and wounded 12 other people, a doctor said.

The crisis in the desert province erupted in late December when security forces dismantled Iraq's main Sunni Arab anti-government protest camp just outside Ramadi, the provincial capital.

Militants subsequently seized parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, marking the first time anti-government forces have exercised such open control in major cities since the peak of the deadly violence that followed the US-led invasion of 2003.

In other violence on Wednesday, a mortar attack on a military base at Saba al-Bur, north of Baghdad, killed two soldiers and wounded nine, while a roadside bomb at a market there killed one person and wounded five, officials said.

And in Baghdad, gunmen shot a man dead near his home in the Shaab area.

Iraq is suffering a protracted surge in violence that has claimed more than 2,600 lives this year.

The heightened unrest has been driven mainly by widespread anger among the Sunni Arab minority, who say they are mistreated by the Shia-led government and security forces.

It has also been fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Violence in Iraq has killed at least 380 people since the beginning of the month, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.