Wave of bombings in Baghdad kills 55
Sep 30, 2013 / 4:08 pm
A new wave of bombs tore through Baghdad on Monday, officials said, killing at least 55 people. Most of the blasts were car bombs detonated in Shiite neighbourhoods, the latest of a series of well-co-ordinated attacks blamed on hard-line Sunni insurgents determined to rekindle large-scale sectarian conflict.
Multiple co-ordinated bombing strikes have hit Baghdad repeatedly over the last five months. The Shiite-led government has announced new security measures, conducted counter-insurgency sweeps of areas believed to hold insurgent hideouts, and sponsored political reconciliation talks, but has not significantly slowed the pace of the bombing campaign.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, but they bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida's local branch in Iraq, known as the Islamic State of Iraq. Al-Qaida is believed to be trying to build on the Sunni minority's discontent toward what they consider to be second-class treatment by the government and on infighting between political groups.
In addition to helping al-Qaida gain recruits, the political crisis may also be affecting the security forces' ability to get intelligence from Sunni communities.
"Our war with terrorism goes on," Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan told The Associated Press. "Part of the problem is the political infighting and regional conflicts ... There are shortcomings and we need to develop our capabilities mainly in the intelligence-gathering efforts."
The deadliest of Monday's bombings was in the eastern Sadr City district, where a parked car bomb tore through a small vegetable market and its parking lot, killing seven people and wounding 16, a police officer said.
Other parked car bombs went off in quick succession in the Shiite neighbourhoods of New Baghdad, Habibiya, Sabaa al-Bour, Kazimiyah, Shaab, Ur, Shula as well as the Sunni neighbourhoods of Jamiaa and Ghazaliyah. Police officers said 44 people were killed and 139 wounded.
And in the evening, a roadside bomb outside a Sunni mosque within a refinery compound in the south Baghdad district of Dora killed four and wounded 14. Some such attacks on Sunni targets are blamed on hard-line militants targeting rival Sunnis, but there are also indications that Shiite groups have started to retaliate, raising fears of a return to the widespread sectarian killing of 2006-2007.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures in Monday's attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Read more World News
- Art stolen from London gallery
- Man signing at Mandela memorial a fake
- Crane collapses on supermarket, 1 dead
- Stolen cobalt-60 finally removed by robot
- Bride shared little emotion over his death
- Police clash with protesters in Ukraine
- Another theft from Walker's crash
- First national marketplace for legal pot
- Convicted killer executed in Oklahoma
- Backcountry skier survives avalanche
- World leaders pay tribute to Mandela
- Sound sleeper locked inside empty plane
(Click for RSS instructions.)