BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least 16 people were killed in two bombings in Baghdad on Monday, police said, despite increased security across the capital for the landmark visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In the deadliest incident, 12 people were killed and 46 wounded when an Iraqi army patrol was hit by a bomb in a parked car in central Baghdad’s Bab al-Muadham area, police said.
Another four people were killed when a suicide car bomber rammed an Iraqi army checkpoint in Ghadeer in eastern Baghdad.
Two soldiers were among the dead in that blast, which destroyed three houses and set several cars ablaze. Another 10 people were wounded.
A roadside bomb in northern Baghdad’s Waziriya district wounded three civilians, police said.
The bombings occurred despite security being tightened across Baghdad for Ahmadinejad’s visit, the first state visit by a leader from the region since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
U.S. military commanders blame Sunni Islamist al Qaeda for most large-scale bombings in Iraq but there was no immediate indication of who was responsible for Monday’s bombings or whether they were directly linked to Ahmadinejad’s visit.