Al-Qaida bombers attack Iraq government office

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up and may have killed over a dozen people at the government compound in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

The first blast occurred when a suicide bomber drove a minibus packed with explosives into the entrance of the main government compound.

As people gathered to observe the destruction, another man detonated his explosive vest in their midst. Estimates of the dead ranged from nine to 19 yesterday with at least another 43 people injured by the blasts.

Insurgents frequently go after government targets in an effort to destabilise the US-backed authorities, especially now as American troops prepare to leave by the end of next year.

Blasts meant to catch bystanders and rescue personnel became a hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Ramadi is the seat of the Anbar provincial government and used to be a stronghold of al-Qaida. The complex, which houses various government agencies, including the governor's offices, has been bombed twice this year.

In July, a female suicide bomber blew herself up outside the governor's office. Earlier this month, a suicide bomber exploded outside the office complex, killing 17 people, including women and elderly people queuing for benefits.