101 die in spate of explosions

2009-12-08 12:01

Baghdad - Five powerful car bombs rocked Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 101 people, many of them students, wounding 182 and shattering a month of calm in the capital ahead of a general election.

Two car bombs exploded near the labour and interior ministries and a suicide attacker driving a car struck a police patrol in Dora, in southern Baghdad, causing 15 of the deaths, an interior ministry official said.

The first explosion in central Baghdad was heard at 07:25 GMT with a second blast within seconds and a third one minute later.

Sporadic gunfire then sounded and the sirens of emergency vehicles were also heard, with helicopters taking to the skies soon afterwards.

The interior ministry official said 12 of those killed by the suicide attacker in Dora were students at a nearby technical college. The remaining three victims were policemen working at the checkpoint.

The two remaining car bombs targeted a criminal court building in Mansour, western Baghdad, and a market in Shorjah, in the centre of the city.

Violence across Iraq dropped dramatically last month, with the fewest deaths in attacks since the US-led invasion of 2003. Official figures showed a total of 122 people were killed in November.

However the Baghdad government and the US military have warned of a rise in attacks in the run up to the election, which is expected to take place in February.

Threat of political violence

The threat of political violence linked to the poll is a major concern after bloody attacks in Baghdad in August and October that killed more than 250 people.

The attacks, including truck bombings outside the finance, foreign and justice ministries, punctured confidence in the Iraqi security forces.

"We believe that there will be an attempt to conduct more attacks between now and the election," General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, said in November.

Tuesday's bombings came two days after the war-torn country's parliament passed a law governing the election, which will be the second national ballot since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein from power.

The United Nations on Monday urged Iraq to announce "as soon as possible" the date for the vote after more than two months of delays.

The presidency council, made up of President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies, now has to announce a date for the ballot.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in a statement said that February 27 was "feasible" and it stood ready to give all possible help to bring this about.

US diplomats, most notably Christopher Hill, Washington's ambassador to Baghdad, had pushed MPs to pass the law, seeking to avoid delays to the planned pullout of tens of thousands of American troops in 2010.

The United States has 115 000 soldiers in Iraq, but that figure will drop to 50 000 next year as all of its combat troops are pulled out before a complete withdrawal by the end of 2011.

- SAPA

Read more on:    iraq
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 10:15 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS approaching Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.