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Three Bombings Kill at Least 20 in Baghdad

One bomb killed 13 government employees travelling by bus to their jobs at the Trade Ministry in eastern Baghdad. Hospital officials said that eight of the victims were women, the Associated Press reported. Four wounded victims were also treated.

Baghdad security spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim Moussawi told Reuters that a bomb had been fastened to the bus. These so-called “sticky bombs” are increasingly being used to target government employees and officials, Reuters reported.

In a separate bombing about 45 minutes later, a female suicide bomber struck near the entrance to the heavily guarded Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government headquarters. The woman blew herself up as she stood in line waiting to be searched at a security checkpoint, killing seven people and wounding 13, an Interior Ministry official told the AP.

In a third attack, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed two civilians near Technology University in eastern Baghdad, according to an Iraqi police officer and a hospital official, the AP reported.

Iraq’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that it was stepping up security in response to the bombings.

“The security forces have strengthened procedures due to the explosions targeting several districts in Baghdad,” spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf said, according to Reuters. “Among [these] … are to deploy more intelligence and detection … the battle now is a battle of information.”

The timing of the attacks suggests that the insurgents aimed to make a show of strength as the Iraqi parliament considers the new security pact with the United States. More than 10,000 supporters of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gathered in central Baghdad Friday to protest the security pact, which would allow U.S. troops to remain in Iraq for up to three more years under Iraqi supervision.

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