35 killed in twin bomb attack north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD, July 5, 2011 (AFP) - At least 35 people were killed and 28 wounded in a double bomb attack in the city of Taji north of Baghdad on Tuesday, an interior ministry official said.

"Thirty-five people were killed and 28 wounded when a car bomb and an improvised bomb exploded simultaneously outside a government office where national identification cards are issued, and the provincial council offices," the official said.

He said the blasts struck at 12 pm (0900 GMT). Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim Atta confirmed the attacks.

He also said that at least five people were killed by a rocket strike on the grounds of Baghdad's Al-Rasheed hotel late on Monday.

"A Katyusha rocket struck at 9 pm (1800 GMT) on Monday in the grounds of the Rasheed Hotel where workers live in mobile homes," he told AFP.

"Five people were killed and 25 trailer homes were destroyed," he said.

Atta said that security forces had arrested two men in the south Baghdad Shiite district of Zafraniyah, from where the attack was launched.

He said another Katyusha rocket launcher and a video camera were seized from the men.

The violence came after June saw the highest monthly death toll for Iraqis so far this year. A total of 271 were killed in attacks, according to government figures.

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