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Iraq Eases Baghdad Curfew As Five Are Killed In Car Bombings

The remains of a vehicle used in the bomb attack outside Baghdad's Green Zone on April 18
Iraqi authorities have eased an overnight curfew in Baghdad for the first time in two years, saying the new rules were made possible by an improvement in the capital's security.

Spokesman Qassim Atta said as of April 17, the curfew will only apply from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. In 2007, at the height of a sectarian war that claimed tens of thousands of lives nationwide, a curfew was imposed in Baghdad between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

This measure was relaxed in 2009, with the curfew in place between midnight and 5 a.m.

Although violence has dropped off dramatically since its 2007 peak, attacks remain common.

Early on April 18 in Baghdad, two car bombs driven by suicide attackers exploded at an entrance to the city's heavily-fortified Green Zone, home to foreign embassies and government buildings.

Security officials say at least five people have been killed and 15 injured in the blasts.

A military spokesman said the victims included both civilians and soldiers.

compiled from agency reports