Baghdad blasts kill at least 18


Two bombs exploded in northeastern Baghdad today, killing at least 18 people and wounding 37, police and hospital sources said.

The first bomb targeted a police patrol in the Iraqi capital's Ur district and the second exploded when emergency services were evacuating the wounded, the sources said.

In recent days militants have carried out a campaign against Baghdad's police force, many of the attacks have been aimed at largely unarmed traffic police officers.

Earlier today a sniper shot and killed a traffic policeman and wounded another in the capital's southern Saidiya district, while a roadside bomb blew up near a traffic police patrol in the northeastern Sadr City district, wounding two police and a civilian, police and medical sources said.

Roadside bombs exploded near two Iraqi army patrols in Baghdad today, wounding eight civilians, the sources said.

Violence has fallen sharply in recent years following the sectarian slaughter of 2006-07, but Iraqi security forces are still fighting a lethal Sunni insurgency and Shi'ite militias that carry out scores of bombings and other attacks each month.