Suicide bomber targets gate to Baghdad’s Green Zone, killing 7

BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BNO NEWS) -- A suicide car bomber targeted a security check post near the so-called Green Zone in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing at least seven people and injuring two dozen more, police sources said. A member of parliament (MP) was among those injured.

The attack occurred at around 8 a.m. local time on Monday when the attacker drove his vehicle toward a security check post at the July 14 bridge, which leads across the Tigris river and into the Green Zone, before detonating his explosives. The scene is not far from the U.S. Embassy and the presidential complex.

Police sources said seven people were killed, including two soldiers, while at least 24 more were injured, including Shi'ite MP Habib Hamza al-Turfi who suffered an injury to his shoulder and was taken to a nearby hospital. Two bodyguards of al-Turfi were also injured, but their conditions were not immediately known.

The Green Zone in central Baghdad is comprised of Iraqi government buildings and several major embassies in addition to U.S. interests. It is often referred to as the safest place in Iraq due to its extreme security, even though insurgents regularly try and have sometimes succeeded to attack the area.

Monday's attack came just over a week after a wave of bombings and other attacks killed at least 92 people and wounded more than 400 others in 13 cities across Iraq, making it one of the deadliest days so far this year. The French honorary consulate premises in Nasiriyah were also damaged, but there were no casualties.

Although violence in Iraq has declined dramatically since its peak in 2006 and 2007, political turmoil and sectarian violence has been on the rise following the pullout of the last U.S. soldiers in mid-December 2011.

In late July, a coordinated wave of bomb and shooting attacks targeted Shiite Muslims across Iraq, killing at least 109 people and injuring more than 275 others. The string of violent attacks ripped through at least fifteen different cities, among them the capital Baghdad, in six provinces.

And on June 13, at least 93 people were killed in another wave of bomb and shooting attacks targeting Shiite Muslims who were marking the anniversary of the death of Imam Musa Kadhim, a great-grandson of the prophet Mohammad and a revered imam. More than 300 others were injured.

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