The explosions in Baghdad and Mosul came exactly a week after suicide bombers killed 127 people and wounded more than 500 in a series of five bombings in the Iraqi capital — three of which appeared to target government buildings.
The blasts raise fresh questions about the government's ability to protect itself and its citizens as U.S. forces prepare to leave Iraq.
"There were two military checkpoints using detectors at the beginning of the street, how can such car bombs manage to enter and explode?" said a Baghdad woman who identified herself as Um Ali, her cheeks smeared with blood as she screamed at reporters, echoing the frustrations voiced by many Iraqis.
In Baghdad, three car bombs detonated within minutes of each other in different areas near the heavily guarded Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy, the Iraqi parliament and other government buildings.
One of the bombs went off near the Foreign Ministry, which was targeted in an August bombing; two others exploded near the Immigration Ministry and the Iranian Embassy.
Five people were killed and at least 16 wounded, according to Iraqi officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Authorities quickly arrested owners of three parking lots where the bombs exploded, charging them with failing to carefully search the cars and check vehicle registration papers.
Hours later and hundreds of miles away, in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, two more car bombs an a roadside mine killed four people. A doctor at the Mosul general hospital said as many as 40 were wounded in the separate blasts that appeared to target a high-traffic neighborhood and a church.
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