An Iraqi member of parliament was wounded and two other people killed in an explosion near the parliament on Monday.
AFP reported that the blast was alternatively said to have been from a mortar shell, a suicide bomber, and a magnetic “sticky bomb.”
One MP told the French news agency, “A mortar round landed near parliament’s car park. One colleague, (MP) Muayid al-Tayyeb, was wounded.”
An interior ministry official said that two people were killed and seven wounded by a mortar round, but the Iraqi defense ministry claimed three people were killed and four wounded by an explosion in a parliament parking area. An official with the ministry told AFP that “it is not clear if it was a car bomb or a mortar shell.”
“What happened today was a suicide operation against members of parliament while they were leaving parliament,” a high-ranking security official told AFP.
Aidan Helmi, media adviser to Iraqi parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, also said the incident was a suicide operation, claiming it was a botched “assassination attempt” on Nujaifi.
Helmi told AFP a man driving a black vehicle of the type that make up Nujaifi’s convoy tried to enter the VIP gate of parliament, backed up when asked for a badge, hit another car, exited his vehicle, argued with the other driver, and then blew himself up.
Earlier on Monday, a suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle outside a prison north of Baghdad, killing 11 people. At least 15 people were wounded, according to the Iraqi Defense Ministry.
The casualties reportedly include security guards, prison staff and police officers. The BBC said that the attack occurred as many prison employees were on their way to start their shifts at the jail, and may have been part of a prison escape attempt.
Monday’s deaths raise the toll from a week of surging violence across Iraq to at least 61.
On Sunday, bomb and gun attacks killed four people and wounded nine. On Saturday, 16 people were killed and 20 wounded in bombings and shootings in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib.