BAGHDAD -- Eighteen people were killed and 67 were wounded on Thursday when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the Ministry of Justice compound, which he and other armed attackers had managed to infiltrate after a series of car bomb blasts nearby, the police said.
The attacks, apparently coordinated, started when the three car bombs were detonated outside the Justice, Foreign Affairs and Communications Ministries, striking the heart of the Iraqi government by hitting an area deep inside a walled compound heavy with security guards in central Baghdad. Shortly after the car bombs went off, a number of gunmen, including one who was also rigged as a suicide bomber, raided the Justice Ministry. Security forces killed all of them but the suicide attacker, who managed to blow himself up inside the complex, a security source said.
The police in a preliminary report did not provide a breakdown of how many casualties came from the car bombs or how many were caused by the suicide attack.
After the violence, security forces sealed off roads leading to the ministry area, which is in the Alawi district of the city. Smoke from the blasts rose into the sky.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.