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34 Iraqis Killed, 74 Injured in Attacks, in Baghdad and Other Cities

November 17, 2013

Site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, November 17, 2013 Site of a car bomb attack in Basra, November 14, 2013

Baghdad bombs worst in Iraq attacks that kill 34

Inquirer, AFP, BAGHDAD—

A series of bombings struck near markets, cafes and the theater in Baghdad on Sunday evening, the deadliest in nationwide attacks in which 22 people and 12 militants were killed.

The bloodshed, which left more than 70 wounded across the country, was the latest in a protracted surge in violence that has forced Iraq to appeal for international help in combatting militancy just months before its first general election in four years.

The deadliest attacks struck in Baghdad, where a wave of evening bombings targeted civilians in both Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods of the capital.

From 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) onwards, four car bombs and three roadside bombs hit areas ranging from the Shiite slum neighborhood of Sadr City in northeast Baghdad to the western Sunni suburb of Radhwaniyah.

A car bomb went off near the National Theatre in the center of the capital, while blasts also struck a market in south Baghdad and a cafe in the north.

Overall, at least 17 people were killed and more than 50 wounded, according to security and medical officials.

The explosions are part of a months-long trend of attacks timed to go off in the evening as Iraqis mass at public meeting places, with restaurants, cafes, and football pitches all hit as violence has surged.

In previous months and years, attacks had typically been timed to coincide with morning rush hour.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bloodshed, but Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaeda often set off coordinated bombings across Baghdad, ostensibly in a bid to undermine public confidence in the Shiite-led government.

Earlier on Sunday, violence in Baghdad and north of the capital left five people dead, while security officials claimed to have killed a dozen militants attempting to carry out attacks.

Two civilians and three insurgents died in the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu when a car bomb that attackers were moving to their apparent target went off—apparently by mistake—with the militants inside.

Twelve other people were wounded, including two Kurdish security forces guarding the Kurdish-majority neighbourhood in the ethnically-mixed northern town.

“God foiled a massacre that was about to happen today,” Tuz Khurmatu Mayor Shallal Abdul told AFP.

Attacks on Sunday also targeted Sunni anti-Qaeda tribal militiamen on Baghdad’s southern outskirts and north of the capital in Salaheddin province, killing six people including four militants.

From late 2006 onwards, Sunni tribal militias, known as the Sahwa, turned against their co-religionists in Al-Qaeda and sided with the US military, helping to turn the tide of Iraq’s insurgency.

But Sunni militants view them as traitors and frequently target them.

North of Baghdad, a soldier was killed and three wounded in a bomb attack, while clashes between police and militants in the disputed city of Kirkuk left a gunman dead. Another was arrested and a third fled.

Four militants were also gunned down by police in two separate incidents while trying to plant roadside bombs in Baghdad’s south.

The unrest is the latest in a protracted surge in bloodshed that has pushed violence to its highest level since 2008, when Iraq was recovering from the worst of its Sunni-Shiite sectarian war.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has called for Washington’s help in the form of greater intelligence sharing and the timely delivery of new weapons systems in an effort to curb the bloodshed.

In addition to failing to curb the bloodshed, authorities have also struggled to provide adequate basic services such as electricity and clean water, and corruption is widespread.

Political squabbling has paralysed the government, while parliament has passed almost no major legislation in years.—Salam Faraj


23 killed, 74 wounded in violent attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Nov. 17, 2013 (Xinhua) --

At least 23 people were killed and 74 others wounded in violent attacks in Iraq on Sunday, including a wave of bomb attacks in Baghdad, police said.

A car bomb exploded Sunday evening in Husseiniya area of northeastern Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 11 others, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Two people were killed and six others injured when a car bomb went off in Dora area of southern Baghdad, while two people were killed and nine others wounded in another car bomb attack in Karrada area of central Baghdad, the source said.

Earlier at sunset Sunday, at least six people were killed and 27 wounded in three bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital city, a police source said.

A car bomb detonated in al-Ghadeer district in eastern Baghdad killed two people and wounded nine others, the source told Xinhua. Meanwhile, another car bomb went off at a commercial street in Sadr City district in eastern Baghdad, killing one people and wounding 11 others, the source said.

In addition, a roadside bomb ripped through Baghdad's southwestern suburb of Radhwaniyah and killed three people and wounded seven others, the source added.

Also on Sunday, nine people were killed and 21 others wounded in shootings and bombings, including two suicide attacks, in northern and central Iraq, police said.

The deadliest attack occurred in northern Iraq when two suicide bomb attacks and 12 roadside bombs struck the city of Tuz-Khurmato, some 200 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, leaving five people killed and up to 15 wounded, a local police source told Xinhua.

The attacks took place before noon, when one of the suicide bombers rammed his explosive-laden car into an army checkpoint and blew it up, while the other detonated his explosive vest at a marketplace in the city, the source said.

Coordinately, 12 roadside bombs detonated in different places across the city, and most of the blasts targeted crowded civilian areas, the source added.

Later in the day, the source said that investigations found that some of the roadside bombs were sound bombs.

The ethnically mixed city of Tuz-Khurmato is part of the disputed area claimed by the Kurds, the Arabs and the Turkomans. The Kurds want to incorporate the area on the edge of the Kurdistan region into their territory.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb went off near an Iraqi army patrol in Tarmiyah area, some 40 km north of Baghdad, killing a soldier and wounding another and two passersby, a police source told Xinhua.

In addition, gunmen carried out a pre-dawn attack on the house of a leader of a government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group in the town of Madain, some 30 km south of Baghdad, sparking a clash with the guards of the house that left the leader's brother killed and two of the attackers dead, the source said.

Three of the attackers were also wounded by the clash and were captured by the security forces, the source added.

The Sahwa militia, also known as the Awakening Council or the Sons of Iraq, consists of armed groups, including some former anti- U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, who turned their rifles against the al-Qaida network after its leaders became dismayed by al-Qaida's brutality and religious zealotry in the country.

Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, almost 7, 000 Iraqis were killed and over 16,000 others injured from January to October this year.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

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