RAMADI, Iraq — Back-to-back suicide bombings at a government compound in this western Iraqi city on Monday killed 19 and wounded 45, police said, in an attack that heaped tragedy on the families of victims of a similar recent bombing.
Family members of 13 police and security workers killed just over two weeks ago in a car bombing outside the Anbar provincial compound had just arrived to receive promised government compensation for the deceased Monday when a suicide bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into the compound's front gate.
Three minutes later, as emergency workers rushed to the scene, a second bomber wearing a suicide vest detonated himself amid the rescue efforts.
Muhammad Fathiy, a provincial council member and the head of the security committee of Anbar province, which is predominantly Sunni, said many of the dead and the wounded were family members of those killed in the Dec. 12 attack. They had "shown up today to receive their compensation from the local government," he said.
Senan Ala'anee, a doctor at the emergency room of Alanbar Hospital, said many of the injuries to the surviving victims were serious. "Many of the wounded have lost some of their body parts and the others were severely burned," he said.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.
Although violence across Iraq has subsided in recent months, the repeated attacks stand out in Ramadi, where the Sunni Awakening militias are credited with helping to turn the tide against insurgents two years ago. The compound was bombed and the local governor among victims of an attack last year. The front gate of the compound was also bombed in July.
Brigadier Ali al-Dulaymee of the Anbar police said Monday's attack contained hallmarks of previous al-Qaida bombings in the area and suggested it might be a reaction to recent visits to the province by French, Korean and United Arab Emirates ambassadors to launch investment projects in the Sunni-majority city.