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Scores killed, more than 120 wounded in day of carnage across Iraq

By Laura Smith-Spark. Jomana Karadsheh and Saad Abedine, CNN
updated 2:56 PM EST, Wed February 5, 2014
Smoke billows after an explosion in the business district of Al-Sanak in central Baghdad on February 5, 2014.
Smoke billows after an explosion in the business district of Al-Sanak in central Baghdad on February 5, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two evening attacks hit near a busy commercial area in southeastern Baghdad
  • Car bombing in Mosul kills two bodyguards of a member of Iraq's Parliament
  • Three morning attacks strike close to checkpoints at the city's fortified International Zone
  • Bombings strike a restaurant and Iraq's Foreign Ministry building

(CNN) -- Scores of people were killed and at least 123 others were wounded Wednesday in shootings and explosions across Iraq, senior Interior Ministry officials said.

Five bombings in the Iraqi capital were responsible for dozens of the casualties, Baghdad police officials said.

Three of the Baghdad bombings happened in the morning, killing at least 25 people near checkpoints for entry into the city's International Zone, a heavily fortified area that houses Iraqi government offices and the U.S. and British embassies.

In the deadliest blast, a suicide bomber targeted a security checkpoint near the International Zone, Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim said. Police officials said the bomber struck a restaurant that is frequented by Iraqis going into the International Zone, which is also called the Green Zone.

The second blast occurred near the entrance to Iraq's Foreign Ministry building. Police and residents said a car bomb exploded in a parking lot opposite the building, and the Interior Ministry said it was a suicide bombing.

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The third explosion took place in the Al-Sanak area of Baghdad, one of the capital's main commercial areas.

Police officials did not give a breakdown of how many people were killed and injured in each blast.

Conflicting accounts have emerged, with initial reports from security sources indicating all three of the morning blasts were car bombings.

In the evening, two car bombs exploded near a busy commercial area in southeastern Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and injuring 24 others, police said.

And a roadside bomb and a car bomb exploded at a coffee shop and a restaurant in al-Dora in southern Baghdad. It killed four people and wounded 16 others, police officials told CNN.

In southwestern Mosul, in northern Iraq, a car bomb exploded outside the Turkish consulate, wounding five Iraqi security forces at a checkpoint outside the consulate, two senior Interior Ministry officials said.

In western Mosul, gunmen targeted Um al-Rabiein police station, the officials said. The attack started when a suicide bomber drove a bomb-rigged vehicle to the main checkpoint of the police station and exploded. That was followed by rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire, they said. At least five people were killed, four of them police officers, and 23 were wounded, 14 of them police.

Also in western Mosul, a car bomb exploded at an Iraqi army convoy, killing three soldiers and wounding eight people, four of them soldiers, the officials said.

The United Nations' special representative in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, condemned the violence.

"Those who orchestrate such attacks should be condemned by all political, religious and civic leaders in this country," he said in a prepared statement. "Iraq political leaders should show national unity in dealing with such threats and unite against terrorism."

Iraq's Foreign Ministry has been targeted in the past.

The worst attack was in August 2009, when it was hit by a suicide truck bomb and dozens of staff were killed and injured.

Another government building, the Transport Ministry, was attacked by gunmen last week. The militants seized part of the building and took civil servants hostage before security forces drove them out.

Also Wednesday, a car bombing in the northern city of Mosul killed two bodyguards of a member of Iraq's Parliament, police said.

The blast happened outside the eastern Mosul house of Wisal Salim, a Sunni Muslim lawmaker.

The United Nations said 2013 was the deadliest year in Iraq since 2008, with almost 8,000 people killed, most of them civilians.

The figures remained grim in January. According to the U.N. mission in Iraq, 618 civilians and 115 members of the country's security forces were killed.

The U.N. tally does not include those killed in a fresh wave of violence in Iraq's Anbar province, west of Baghdad, where al Qaeda-backed militants and Iraqi security forces have been fighting since the end of last year.

The ongoing violence in Anbar, Salaheddin and Nineveh Sunni provinces has raised concerns among some observers that parliamentary elections scheduled for April 30 will be delayed.

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CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tom Watkins contributed to this report.

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