Source AP ©

Suicide bomb kills seven at central Baghdad hotel

A suicide bomber blew himself up in a central Baghdad hotel on Monday, killing seven people, police said. At least 12 other people were reported wounded.

A man wearing a belt of explosives walked into the lobby of the Mansour Hotel, approached the reception desk and detonated his bomb, said a police official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The high-rise hotel, on the banks of the Tigris River, houses the Chinese Embassy and news offices of CBS, the news agency Agence France-Presse and other media organizations. A number of Iraqi parliament members also stay at the Mansour.

Yarmouk Hospital in west Baghdad received seven bodies and seven wounded from the bombing, a medical official there reported.

The attack was the fifth in a string of suicide and other bombings striking Iraq on Monday morning, from Mosul and Beiji in the north to Hillah in the south. At least 27 people were killed in the bombings.

The deadliest occurred at a police station in Beiji, 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, at 8:30 a.m., when at least nine civilians were killed and 21 others wounded, police and medical officials reported.

Earlier in the morning, a suicide car bomber struck a checkpoint near the governor's offices in the predominantly Shiite southern city of Hillah, killing at least eight people and wounding 31, police said.