Security is being beefed up at the U.S. embassy in the capital of Iraq and some staff members are being temporarily moved to other parts of Iraq and to Jordan, following a string of explosions in the area that have killed at least 15 and wounded more than 30.
A State Department spokeswoman says in a statement that a "substantial majority" of U.S. embassy staff will remain even as parts of the country experience instability and violence.
One car bomb went off in the city center, killing 10 and wounding 21. After nightfall, another explosion hit the area, killing two and wounding five. The third went off near a falafel shop in the city's sprawling Sadr City district, killing three and wounding seven.
The State Department spokeswoman said the Baghdad embassy will continue to engage daily with Iraqis. U.S. travelers in the country were encouraged to exercise caution and limit travel to certain parts of Iraq.
An Al-Qaeda splinter group surprised Western intelligence organizations last week and took control of major Iraqi cities.
The crisis in Iraq has prompted the United States to order an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf. It also laid out specific ways for Iraq to show it is forging the national unity necessary to gain assistance in its fight against the splinter group and other militants.
The Associated Press