Baghdad bombings kill two, wound 13


Three bombings near mosques in central and northern Baghdad killed two people and wounded 13 on Thursday, an interior ministry official said.

The attacks came hours after US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the Iraqi capital for meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other top officials.

One bomb exploded near the Husseiniya Shiite mosque in the Karrada neighbourhood of central Baghdad, killing one person and woundibng four others, the official said.

Another went off near the Abdel Qadir Gilani Sunni mosque, also in central Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five more.

And a third bomb exploded near Al-Assaf, a Sunni mosque in Adhamiyah in the north of Baghdad, wounding four people.

Violence in Iraq has declined dramatically since its peak in 2006-2007, but attacks still occur almost daily here.

Maliki, who was approved for a second term by parliament along with a national unity cabinet on Decmber 21, has named security as one of his top priorities.

About 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq, mainly focusing on training Iraqi forces. A security accord between Baghdad and Washington requires that they be withdrawn by the end of 2011.