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80 Iraqis Killed, Dozens Injured in Various Provinces, in One Day

August 15, 2011

Attacks across Iraq kill more than 80

By Annie Gowen and Asaad Majeed,

Washington Post, August 15, 2011


More than 80 people were killed and dozens were wounded Monday in a string of attacks across Iraq, the deadliest day in the country this year, police and government officials said.

In the worst incident, two bombs exploded in a busy market in the city center of Kut, killing at least 42 people and injuring more than 50.

A new wave of violence has ripped through more than a dozen Iraqi cities from the north to the south Monday, killing nearly 70 people in multiple blasts. (Aug. 15)

In an apparently coordinated series of attacks Monday morning, bombings cut a swath from the northern city of Kirkuk to the pricey Mansour district of Baghdad and south to Najaf. Elsewhere, assailants wielding AK-47s targeted anti-terrorism leaders in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.

As night fell on the capital, the violence continued. Men wearing Iraqi army uniforms entered a mosque in Yusufiyah, a town near Baghdad, and executed seven men in the middle of their evening prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. The assailants left a note saying the killings were carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq, a Sunni extremist group affiliated with al-Qaeda.

The bloody day came after a period of relative quiet in the country that had descended as Ramadan began early this month.

Lt. Col. Hachem Neama Abbas, an Iraqi army commander in Baghdad, said the military had been bracing for a new round of violence. The attacks, he said, are proof that insurgents still pose a threat to the country’s stability. They also raise questions about the Iraqi government’s ability to maintain security as U.S. troops prepare to leave the country by December.

“This wave of explosions and attacks is evidence that al-Qaeda is still effective,” Abbas said.

Iraq is debating whether to ask a small contingent of U.S. forces to stay past the deadline. U.S. authorities have said that no official request has been made.

A spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, Maj. Angela L. Funaro, said that although it was too early to speculate on the groups behind the day’s violence, it was “eerily similar” to a large-scale attack last year during Ramadan. Then, insurgents from al-Qaeda in Iraq targeted checkpoints and Iraqi forces in several cities, killing at least 53.

The worst violence Monday occurred in Kut, a large city southeast of Baghdad. Insurgents detonated a sound bomb in a crowded area near a jewelry store about 8:45 a.m., said Hassan Abdul Zahra al-Wailey, a spokesman for the local police.

Moments later, a car bomb exploded in the same place, killing 42, including 12 children. Some of the children had beenselling bags to those buying produce at the market.

Ali al-Abbudi, 31, a local journalist, happened to be in the market when the blast occurred. He said he was stunned by the “horror of the scene.”

“There were chopped heads or legs, bodies were blown off and scattered around everywhere,” he said.

In Diyala, 13 people, including four Iraqi army officers, were killed in a series of car bombings, explosions and shootings.

In Tikrit, a man dressed in a traffic police uniform blew himself up at the main gate of the city’s counterterrorism facility. In the melee that followed, another bomber detonated explosives, killing and injuring many who had rushed to help. Nine died, including a high-ranking anti-terrorism official.

Elsewhere, three were killed in a series of car bombings in Baghdad, and nine were killed in attacks on government facilities in Najaf and Karbala.

Kirkuk, a city north of Baghdad, experienced three explosions — including a car bomb that killed one person and a explosion near a church that injured four.

Special correspondents Aziz Alwan in Baghdad, Saad Sarhan in Najaf, Uthman al-Mokhtar in Anbar province and Hassan al-Shammari in Diyala province contributed to this report.

Iraqi bloodbath kills 60 as blasts rip through cities

By Hamid Ahmed, Iraq
Irish Examiner, Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BOMB blasts ripped through more than a dozen Iraqi cities yesterday morning, killing 60 security forces and civilians in the worst attack this year.

The bloodbath came less than two weeks after Iraqi officials said they would be open to a small number of US forces staying in the country past a December 31 withdrawal deadline.

The blasts were coordinated and included parked car bombs, roadside bombs, a suicide bomber driving a vehicle that rammed into a police station and even bombs attached to lamp posts.

The scope of the violence — seven explosions went off in different towns in Diyala province alone — emphasized that insurgents are still able to carry out attacks despite repeated crackdowns by Iraqi and US forces.

Twin explosions rocked the market in Kut, where the worst violence took place, 160km southeast of Baghdad.

Police spokesman Dhur-gam Mohammed Hassan said the first bomb went off in a freezer used to keep drinks cold. As rescuers and onlookers gathered, a parked car bomb exploded, killing 35 people and injuring 64.

In Diyala province, seven bombs went off in the capital of Baquba and towns nearby.

Five soldiers were killed in Baquba while five other people were killed in other attacks around the province.

Just outside the holy city of Najaf, a suicide car bomber slammed his vehicle into a checkpoint outside a police building. Four people were killed and 32 injured.

Outside the nearby city of Karbala, a parked car bomb near a police station killed three policemen and injured 14 others.

In the northern city of Tikrit, two men wearing explosives belts drove into a heavily guarded government compound wearing military uniforms, which helped them avoid notice.

The men parked their vehicle and walked to a building where anti-terrorism police work. When the men approached, the guards ordered them to stop and opened fire.

One bomber was killed but the other got inside, blew himself up and killed three people.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, a car bomb exploded next to a police patrol, injuring four police officers.

About 30 minutes later, a motorcycle with a bomb planted inside it exploded, killing one person.

Late on Sunday, four bombs also blew up near a Syrian orthodox church in Kirkuk, but no one was injured.

In Baghdad, a parked car bomb exploded near a convoy carrying officials from the ministry of higher education.

Eight people were wounded, but the minister was not in the convoy.

Earlier this month, Iraqi political leaders announced they would begin negotiations with the US to determine whether to keep a small number of US forces in the country past December 31.

All US troops must leave by the end of this year, but both Iraqi and US officials have expressed concern about the ability of Iraqi forces to protect the country.

Theodore Karasik, a Middle East security expert, said al-Qaida in Iraq is trying to disrupt the internal Iraqi political process and send a message to the Americans.

"It seems that al-Qaida in Iraq is playing a propaganda game at the same time it’s trying to show that it can still carry out deadly violence," Karasik said.

"If the US extends its military presence, al-Qaida in Iraq can use it as a tool by saying, ‘Look, the Americans have reversed their decision to leave and are staying on as occupiers.’ They could use this as a justification for more attacks."

Read more:

108 killed, injured, in final result of Kut’s Monday blast

8/17/2011 10:16 AM

WASSIT / Aswat al-Iraq:

The final result of the booby-trapped car blast in southern Iraq’s city of Kut, the center of Wassit Province on Monday night, has reached 108 people, killed or injured, Wassit Health Department’s media source reported on Wednesday.

“The final result of the booby-trapped car explosion in central Kut on Monday night, has reached 40 persons killed and 68 others injured,” Falah Qassem told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that 10 of the injured persons had left hospitals after their treatment.

Noteworthy is that a double-blast of an explosive charge and a booby-trapped car close to the goldsmith shops market in central Kut on Monday night, had killed 34 people and injured 64 others.

Kut, the center of Wassit Provnce, is 180 km to the southeast of Baghdad.


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