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Bomb explosion kills 11 trade ministry employees in Baghdad
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A roadside bomb explosion killed some 11 trade ministry employees, wounding five others in eastern Baghdad on Monday morning, an Interior Ministry source said.

The bomb struck a bus carrying the employees in the Shiite- dominated district of Baghdad al-Jadida or New Baghdad at the rush- hour, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The powerful blast destroyed the vehicle and also caused damages to several nearby shops and civilian cars, he said.

Iraqi security forces cordoned off the area while ambulances evacuated the victims, most of them women, to nearby hospitals, he added.

In a separate incident, at least five people were killed and 12 others injured when a woman wearing an explosive-belt blew herself up at a checkpoint manned by Iraqi security forces outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses some Iraqi government offices and foreign embassies, including the U.S. one.

Suicide attacks carried out by women and girls have become increasingly common in Iraq in recent months.

The U.S. military said that the al-Qaida insurgents prefer female bombers because they can easily escape detection as the Iraqi police are reluctant to search them.

Despite security gains in recent months in Iraq, there are still sporadic bombings, which shape setback to the Iraqi government.

(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2008)

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