At least 18 people were pronounced dead in the Baghdad bombings, according to Reuters. The series of explosions, which went off near the ministries of justice and foreign affairs, wounded as least 50 others. The Associated Press reported that gunmen have been locked in a battle with security forces.
Initial reports from CNN said at least five people were killed after approximately four bombs went off near government buildings. Witnesses told CNN that thick clouds of black smoke hung over the bombing site, where security helicopters monitored the scene.
Al Jazeera reported at least 12 were dead, calling the incident “a string of apparently coordinated bombings.” A reporter in Baghdad said security forces imposed a curfew in the area near the government buildings and blocked nearby roads.
While violent acts in Iraq have subsided over the years since 2007, bombings and explosions are still prevalent. Most recently, 22 people were killed after a suicide bomber attacked a government-backed Sunni militia group in Iraq’s al-Sahwa in February, Al Arabiya reported.