Baghdad attacks – death toll rises to 57

2011-12-22 08:51

A wave of bomb attacks across Baghdad attacks – death toll rises to 57 killed 57 people, the health ministry spokesperson said.

This is as Iraq faced a political crisis with its vice-president accused of running death squads and the premier warning he could break off power-sharing.

Ministry spokesperson Ziad Tariq said 57 people were killed and 176 wounded in 10 attacks across the capital.

Baghdad security spokesman Major Genera Qassim Atta has said there were a dozen attacks.

The attacks, the deadliest in more than four months, largely coincided with the morning rush hour, and security forces cordoned off bomb sites, AFP correspondents and officials said.

They struck in the Allawi, Bab al-Muatham and Karrada districts of central Baghdad, the Adhamiyah, Shuala and Shaab neighbourhoods in the north, Jadriyah in the east, Ghazaliyah in the west and Al-Amil and Dura in the south, the officials said.

The violence comes with Iraqi politicians at loggerheads over a warrant issued for the arrest of vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi, with prime minister Nuri al-Maliki demanding that Kurdish authorities hand over the Sunni Arab leader, who is holed up in their autonomous region.

Hashemi denies the charges.

Maliki has also called for his Sunni deputy Saleh al-Mutlak, who belongs to the same Iraqiya bloc as Hashemi, to be sacked after he described the Shiite-led government as a “dictatorship”.

Iraqiya, meanwhile, has boycotted parliament and the cabinet, and Maliki has threatened to replace their ministers in the year-old unity government.

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