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15 Jan, 2012 14:01

Series of deadly blasts hit Iraqi city

Series of deadly blasts hit Iraqi city

Six people died and more than a dozen were injured when a volley of explosions hit the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Sunday.

Four car bombs targeted an anti-terrorism police building and mosque in the capital of the mainly Sunni Anbar province.Following the initial attack, gunmen clad in explosive belts charged into the station, with two of them blowing themselves up inside.

Three policemen, two of the attackers and a civilian died in the assault.  Fourteen others, including seven police and seven civilians, were wounded, the spokesman for Anbar province Mohammed Fathi said, as cited by Reuters.Security forces had cordoned off the police station, where several Al-Qaeda suspects were being held at the time of the attack. Police had previously reported that hostages had been taken, though they now say security forces have regained control of the building.

Fathi said one of the gunmen blew himself up during the brief hostage crisis, while another was shot by police.  He also said others had managed to escape.Sunday’s assault in Ramadi comes a day after a suicide bomber disguised as a policeman killed more than 50 Shiite pilgrims passing through a checkpoint in Iraq’s southern city of Basra.

Tensions have continued to run high in Iraq close to a month after the US troop withdrawal. With scores of Shiite pilgrims having been killed in the last several weeks, an apparent crack down on Sunni leaders by Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government could destroy hopes of a power sharing agreement.