Twin suicide bombings kill more than 30 people in Baghdad

Reuters journalists arriving after the blasts saw pools of blood and discarded shoes at the site, a clothing market in Tayaran Square in the centre of the city. Health authorities said at least 110 people had been wounded.

"One (bomber) came, fell to the ground and started complaining 'my stomach is hurting' and he pressed the detonator in his hand. It exploded immediately. People were torn to pieces," said a street vendor who did not give his name.

Australian security contractor killed at embassy in Baghdad

There are reports the man was shot but the Federal Government would not confirm that, and said the circumstances of his death would be explored.

The man was working for Unity Resources Group, providing security services to the Australian Embassy, Ms Bishop said.

She said the Government extended its condolences to the family of the man over the incident and "all appropriate assistance" was being provided to his family.

Ms Bishop said a high level of security was being maintained at the Embassy.

Militant video shows 18 Turkish workers kidnapped in Iraq

The 3-minute video released on Friday shows the men seated in front of five militants in black masks with machineguns. Behind them is a blue wall emblazoned with the group's alleged name, "Death Squads" in Arabic.

Next to the name are the words "Oh, Hussein" — a reference to a revered Shiite figure who was the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, suggesting the group is Shiite.

Gunmen kidnap senior Iraqi official in Baghdad

Brig. Gen. Saad Maan says the gunmen intercepted the convoy of acting Deputy Minister Abdul-Karim al-Saadi in the mainly Shiite eastern part of the city on Tuesday, kidnapping him and two guards.

Maan says the guards were later freed, without providing further details. The motive for the kidnapping was not immediately clear.

Kidnapping for ransom has been common in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Officials: Iraqi defense minister unharmed in sniper attack

A statement Monday says Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi was heading back to Baghdad after a field visit to troops fighting Islamic State militants when shots were fired on his convoy near the contested town of Beiji. The statement says one of his guards was wounded.

Iraq is going through its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Islamic State group controls large swaths of the country's north and west after capturing Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul and the majority of Anbar province last year.

Iraq: Separate bomb attacks kill 11 in and around Baghdad

The attacks targeted five commercial areas with bombs. Police officials said the deadliest bombing Thursday killed three shoppers and wounded 10 in the town of Tarmiyah, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Baghdad.

They added that other four attacks in Baghdad killed eight civilians and wounded 18 in total.

Hospital officials corroborated the casualties. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Masked men kidnap 18 Turkish workers in Iraqi capital

Iraqi and Turkish officials said the 18 are employed by Nurol Insaat, a Turkish construction company contracted to build a sports complex in the sprawling Shiite district of Sadr City. The kidnappers stormed the construction site, where the workers were sleeping in caravans, breaking down doors and disarming the guards before taking the workers away, they said.

The Iraqi officials said an Iraqi national was kidnapped along with the Turks.

Iraqi PM says defense of refinery town key to defeating IS

"Victory at Beiji is a crucial step toward ending Daesh's presence in Iraq," Haider al-Abadi told military and militia commanders during a visit to the area the day before, using an Arabic acronym for the extremist group.

The military retook the town of Beiji from the IS group in November, but government forces and allied Shiite militiamen there have come under mounting pressure in recent weeks. Militants now control up to half of the town and oil refinery to the north, a top commander told The Associated Press.

Official: Islamic State ambushes, kills up to 50 Iraq troops

Sabah Al-Karhout, president of the Anbar Provincial Council, told The Associated Press the ambushes took place Friday west of the provincial capital, Ramadi, but said he had no more details. There was no immediate word from federal authorities or the Islamic State group.

The Islamic State group controls much of the vast Anbar province, including Ramadi and the city of Fallujah.

Iraqi capital sees fresh round of deadly bombings

The most deadly was caused by a car bomb in the mainly Shia Sadr City area.

The same district was hit by a massive truck bomb two days ago that killed more than 60 people and was claimed by Islamic State militants.

Sadr City has been the target of several bomb attacks this year claimed by IS who consider Shia to be heretics.

No claim

Saturday's attack targeted a vehicle market in the Habibiya area of Sadr City which had been targeted multiple times in the past, AP news agency said.

Fifteen people were killed and a further 35 injured, officials said.