Monday Dec 26, 201108:21 AM GMT
7 killed, dozens hurt in Iraq bombing
Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:31AM
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Residents gather at the site of a bomb attack in a district in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, December 22, 2011.
At least seven people have been killed and 32 others injured in a car bombing near the Iraqi interior ministry in the capital, Baghdad.

The bombing was carried out at about 7:30 a.m. local time (0430 GMT) in the Bab al-Sharji area in central Baghdad.

Last Thursday, dozens of people were also killed and scores of others wounded in ten bombing attacks that rocked nine neighborhoods in Baghdad.

The bombing comes at a time when, the Iraqiya party, which holds 82 of the 325 seats in the Iraqi parliament, has suspended its participation in the parliament, calling for “the opening of a round-table to find a solution that will support democracy and civil institutions.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has warned that he would appoint new cabinet ministers if the current ministers from the Iraqiya party do not attend cabinet sessions.

The Iraqi cabinet is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and the Iraqiya ministers have not yet announced whether they will attend or boycott the meeting.

“If Iraqiya wants to participate in real talks, it has to go back to parliament and the government because a parliament boycott is not acceptable,” said Haider al-Abadi, an Iraqi lawmaker.

On December 19, the Iraqi interior ministry issued an arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who is also one of the leaders of Iraqiya, after three of his bodyguards made confessions of taking orders from him to carry out terrorist attacks in the country over the past years.

The Iraqi vice president, who has denied allegations of involvement in acts of terrorism, said on Sunday that he would not go to Baghdad to stand trial. He is currently in Sulaymanieh province in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Hashemi claimed that the Iraqi judicial council is “under the control and the influence of the central government, and this is a big problem.”

However, he added that he has “no intention to leave Iraq at this time,” unless his personal security is “endangered.”

Hashemi has been vice president since 2006. After March 2010 elections and as part of a power-sharing deal, he retained the post as one of two Iraqi vice presidents along with Khudayr al-Khuzaie.

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