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Two Baghdad Bomb Attacks Kill 19, Mostly Women


Rescue workers move a body after the suicide bombing near the Green Zone
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb blast killed 13 female government employees on a bus on their way to work in eastern Baghdad on November 24, and a female suicide bomber killed five people outside Baghdad's Green Zone compound, police said.

A separate attack on a police patrol in the popular central shopping district of Karrada killed one man and wounded five people, police said.

The blasts are the latest in a series of attacks in the Iraqi capital, where violence has broadly fallen but insurgents have shown themselves still able to stage large-scale attacks.

Police said the women worked at the Trade Ministry. A security official at the hospital, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said he had counted 13 bodies at the morgue, adding that four others were being treated for wounds.

Baghdad security spokesman Major-General Qassim Moussawi said he had reports that a dozen were killed and that most of the victims burned alive inside the bus.

Moussawi said a bomb had been fastened to the bus itself. Such "sticky bombs" are increasingly being used by militants to assassinate government employees or security officials.

In the other attack, police said a female bomber wearing an explosives vest killed five people and wounded 12 just outside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses U.S. government employees and some Iraqi ministries.

A Reuters reporter saw police hosing down blood from the streets after the bombing. Pieces of flesh spattered the concrete blast walls protecting the compound.

The U.S. military said two of the dead were Iraqi soldiers.

Female suicide bombers are a trademark tactic of Sunni Islamist Al-Qaeda, who use them because they less likely to be searched. Moussawi said he had reports that the woman was mentally handicapped and did not know what she was doing.