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Middle East

Baghdad bombers target foreign missions

Three suicide bombers detonated car bombs within moments of each other in a co-ordinated attack on foreign missions in central Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 41 people and wounding 249.

The blasts near the Iranian, Egyptian and German embassies followed mortar attacks on the Green Zone, home to government buildings and foreign embassies, and came two days after 24 people were slaughtered in a Sunni village south of the Iraqi capital.

"This is enough. We are tired of explosions. We do not feel safe," said Jassim Mohammed, 39, who was wounded in one of the blasts.

Authorities had warned of a possible escalation of violence because of rising tension after a parliamentary poll last month that Iraqis hoped would bring stability to their country produced no clear winner.

"The terrorists seized this time between the end of the elections and the forming of the government to target the political process," said civil defence official Abdul-Rasoul al-Zaidi.

Weeks of potentially divisive talks to form a government are expected after the coaltion of Shia Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki won two fewer seats than the bloc of secularist led by former premier Iyad Allawi.