Image: Scene of bomb attack in Baghdad
Stringer/iraq  /  Reuters
A man flees the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday.
updated 12/15/2009 3:28:09 AM ET 2009-12-15T08:28:09

A series of car bombs ripped through downtown Baghdad early Tuesday, killing four people and wounding as many as 15 near the heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraqi police officials said.

At least three explosions were set off within minutes of each other, shortly after 7:30 a.m., the two police officials said. Thick clouds of black smoke could be seen lingering over the area.

The two police officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

U.S. military spokesman Army Lt. Brian Wierzbicki, said at three or four explosions occurred outside the Green Zone, the heavily fortified area in the center of Baghdad that houses the U.S. Embassy as well as the Iraqi prime minister's office. He did not have any immediate reports of casualties.

The explosions came a week after suicide bombers targeted government buildings in a series of attacks that killed 127 people .

Two of Tuesday's bombings detonated near the Iraqi government's Foreign and Immigration ministries; a third went off near the Iranian embassy, the police officials said. It was not clear whether those buildings were the targets. The Foreign Ministry was targeted in August in a devastating series of bombings targeting government buildings.

Cameraman hurt
The blasts came at the start of the Iraqi workday, and as a group of journalists waited outside the Green Zone for a government-sponsored trip to a refugee camp near the Iranian border. One cameraman was injured in the explosions, but it was not immediately clear who he worked for or the extent of his injuries, said an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

"I had just left my house to go to my school when the big explosion took place," said 12-year-old Mohammed Hussein, who lives nearby. "My father shouted at me to go back home. There is no need for school today."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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