The ministry source said the deaths and injuries occurred in a series of car bombings near ministry offices downtown.
One car bomb detonated near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and another went off near the Ministry of Justice, officials said. A third device was detonated near a communications institute facility.
The ministry official told Xinhua the bombings apparently were to help gunmen and a suicide bomber enter the Ministry of Justice, but Iraqi security forces repelled them. The suicide bomber detonated his vest of explosives at the entrance of the Justice Ministry building when soldiers opened fire, the Chinese news agency said.