Among the dead from the blasts, which occurred within minutes of each other Thursday at a restaurant and music store, were the Iraqi army lieutenant colonel in charge of security for northeast Baghdad and eight security personnel, officials said. The remaining fatalities were civilians, among them four women. At least 71 people were injured.
The explosions came less than a week after the Obama administration announced that all American forces would withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year after U.S. and Iraqi officials could not agree to terms on an extension. The move was criticized by leading Republicans, and some Iraqis fear the pullout will trigger a resurgence of sectarian and ethnic clashes and erode the country's fragile security gains.
Baghdad had already seen an uptick in attacks against security personnel in the wake of the withdrawal announcement. Since Oct. 19, seven traffic officers have been killed and 20 injured, according to Iraqi police.
-- Raheem Salman
Photo: A bomb attack victim is treated at a Baghdad hospital following twin blasts that struck a busy commercial street in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood of the city on Thursday. Credit: Kareem Raheem / Reuters