BAGHDAD, (AP) – Two car bombs exploded near the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, police said, and a Sunni Arab insurgent group claimed responsibility for a similar attack the day before.
Tuesday’s two car bombs exploded within two minutes of each other at about 10 a.m. in a public parking lot located about 150 yards from the front of the Iranian Embassy, wounding six civilians but causing no damage to the embassy or its guards, a police officer said on condition of anonymity out of concern for his own security.
On Monday, two parked car bombs exploded outside the embassy in Karradah Mariam, an area of Baghdad that is about 200 yards from the heavily guarded Green Zone, where the Iraqi government and the U.S. and British embassies operate. One bomb exploded near the same public parking lot at about noon, killing one civilian and wounding another. At 4:30 p.m., the other parked car bomb exploded close to a police patrol near the Iranian Embassy, killing one civilian and wounding two officers, police said.
On Tuesday, the prominent Iraqi Sunni insurgent group Islamic Ansar al-Sunnah issued a statement on its Web site claiming responsibility for Monday’s bombing near the parking lot.
“Despite the failed and filthy security plan which is being carried by crusaders and renegades against Muslims in this country, your brother mujahedeen are determined to continue this long road,” the group said.
It said the attack targeted a parking lot used by Iraqi “renegades who work at the Green Zone.”
U.S. officials have accused Iran, a mostly Shiite country, of training and arming Shiite militiamen in Iraq, fueling the country’s sectarian war. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, leader of Iraq’s Shiite-majority government, recently said efforts are under way to try to release five Iranians who were captured by U.S. forces on Jan. 11 in the city of Irbil in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.
U.S. authorities have said the five detained Iranians included the operations chief and other members of Iran’s elite Quds Force, which is accused of arming and training Iraqi militants.