BAGHDAD, March 14 (Xinhua) -- At least 15 people were killed and 30 others wounded in a series of car bombings and shootings in central Baghdad on Thursday, an interior ministry source told Xinhua.
"The reports said that at least 15 people were killed and some 30 others wounded by the blasts and attacks by gunmen on the Ministry of Justice in downtown Baghdad," the source said on condition of anonymity.
The car bomb blasts occurred around 1:00 a.m. (10:00 GMT) within five minutes close to government buildings in downtown Baghdad, the source said.
One of the car bombs was close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and another near the Ministry of Justice in the nearby a- Salhiyah area, while the third detonated near the building of the communications institute in Alawi area, the source added.
The car bombings were apparently made to pave the way for gunmen with a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest to enter the Ministry of Justice, but the Iraqi security forces fought them back, the source said.
The suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the Justice ministry building when the soldiers opened fire on him, while the other attackers were trying to enter the building, the source added.
More than one hour after the blasts, the battle between the gunmen and Iraqi security forces is still underway at part of the ministry building, he said.