News24

At least 36 killed in wave of Iraq blasts

2012-04-19 13:44

Baghdad - More than 20 bombs hit cities and towns across Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 36 and wounding more than 100, police and hospital sources said, raising fears of sectarian strife in a country keen to show it can now maintain security.

In Baghdad, three car bombs, two roadside bombs and one suicide car bomb hit mainly Shi'ite areas in what looked like co-ordinated attacks, killing 15 people and wounding 61, the sources said.

Two car bombs and three roadside bombs aimed at police and army patrols in the northern oil city of Kirkuk killed eight people and wounded 26, police and hospital sources said.

"I was trying to stop traffic to let a police patrol pass. When it passed, a car bomb exploded and I fell on the ground and police took me to the hospital," a policeman wounded in the face and chest said as doctors tended his wounds. He declined to be named.

Heightened tension between Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds in the fragile coalition government since US troops withdrew in December has raised fears of a return to sectarian violence of the kind that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war a few years ago.

The country is less violent than at the height of that conflict in 2006-07, but bombings and killings still happen daily, often aimed at Shi'ite areas and local security forces.

Anxious government

Kirkuk, home to Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and others, is at the heart of a long-running dispute between the central government and the autonomous Kurdish region, which claims the city and the region's rich oil reserves.

The rift between Baghdad and the Kurds recently worsened when the Kurdistan Regional Government said it was halting oil exports because the central government was not paying oil firms operating in the north.

The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is anxious to show it can keep the country secure and attract investment following the withdrawal of US troops.

Baghdad hosted an Arab League summit last month, its first for 20 years, and it passed off relatively peacefully amid a massive security lockdown.

Some critics say the government is not doing enough to stem the threat from militants.

"They are saying they are changing security plans, they are redeploying troops but it is like they are changing the decorations only," Ali Al-Haidari, an Iraqi security expert, said.

Minister targeted

"Is there any new technology, any new laws supporting the security process? The answer is no. The natural result for that is there are gaps here and there."

The biggest attack in Baghdad was in the Kadhimiya district, where a car bomb killed five and wounded 24, sources said.

A car bomb targeting the health minister's motorcade went off in the central Haifa district, killing two civilians and wounding at least four of the minister's guards, a police source said. His spokesperson said five guards were wounded in the attack.

Car and roadside bombs also went off in Baghdad's Amil, Palestine Street and Zaafaraniya districts.

A political crisis erupted in Iraq in December when the Shi'ite-led government tried to remove Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq and sought an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on charges he ran death squads.

Critics of Maliki viewed the moves against two senior Sunni politicians as an attempt by the Shi'ite premier to consolidate power, and many Sunnis fear he is trying to sideline them from government.
Other incidents
Maliki has said the charges against Hashemi were brought by the judicial system and his supporters say he is following democratic norms, not abusing them.

Elsewhere in northern Iraq, two car bombs targeting government-backed Sunni Sahwa militia went off in Samarra, two blasts hit Baquba, a roadside bomb exploded in Mosul and another roadside device exploded in Taji.

There were also shooting incidents and one policeman was killed in the town of Hadid, 10km west of Baquba, when gunmen opened fire on the station where he worked from a passing car, police sources said.

In the mainly Sunni Muslim province of Anbar in the west, two car bombs targeting police killed four and wounded 10 in Ramadi while a roadside bomb wounded four people in Falluja.

Attacks in Iraq are mostly blamed on Sunni Arab insurgents who have refused to lay down arms after the withdrawal of US forces in December.

Comments
  • Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 14:49

    Thanx USA

      Fred - 2012-04-19 16:05

      How so?

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 16:59

      Was it not the USA who went in too free the Iraqis and promote democracy and freedom and save the world from imminent nuclear attack?Under the pretext of wmds? ( i call that fearmongering)Which under there own admission turned out to be false? Was it not the CIA who trained and funded saddam Hussein in the Iran Iraq war?(thereby putting the brutal dictator who was saddam Hussein in power in the first place) U see the us has a long history of backing anybody wether it be a dictator or monarch so long as there own interests are protected they couldn't give a damn about the Iraqi people. So if we look at Iraq now there is no democracy only more tyranny the countries infrastructure has been bombed back into the stone age. Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians killed over a million refugees. Job well done by the us? I don't think so.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 17:18

      @patrick. Unfortunately it makes me think that American/british interests may already be protected. Anglo America perhaps?

      Fred - 2012-04-19 19:26

      You thanked the US because Jihadists planted 20 bombs and killed 36 people. Thanks US for 9/11 too?

      Fred - 2012-04-19 20:02

      You're still stuck on that faulty idea. I responded at length to you yesterday. Did you read it?

      Fred - 2012-04-19 20:21

      If a science student at Soweto High creates a bomb using what he was taught at school and plants it in a public place, did Soweto High create the attack? Obviously not. The student did. If a member of a Madrasa in Waziristan is told to attack the US, is given the means to do so, and then he CHOSES to do so, that member and the Madrasa created the attack. If the US trained Osama Bin Laden, told him to attack the US, gave him the means to do so, and he chose to do so, the US and Osama Bin Laden created the attack.

  • Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 19:39

    All evidence certainly indicates that something is not right with 9/11. It stinks of a cover up. The official story said fire caused the towers and building 7 to collapse. Fire ? Really!!! fire?many of the worlds top engineers have said that it is not possible for fire to make buildings of that size collapse and the list goes on and on and on.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 19:58

      Oh okay, makes sense now. You're an irresponsible conspiracy theorist living on the fringes of reality in a made-up world. The US attacked itself. Jihadists are not choosing to plant bombs for their own specific, age-old barbaric goals. It's all the big bad US and there are a group of people, American and English, pulling the strings behind the scenes. This is all looney-tunes, detachment from reality, alienation, delusion.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 20:07

      Whatever dude. That's the typical response for someone like you. You will ignore overwhelming evidence just because big brother told you it's not so. Do some research before coming here and telling me i don't know what I'm talking about.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 20:30

      You know what you're talking about. You believe it wholeheartedly. That it is completely delusional and ridiculous as a belief escapes you. You're allowing the child part of you, that got wounded by parental figures, to mislead you into going in the opposite direction to educated society even if this places you on the lunatic fringe, which it does. And you're allowing your Ego to mislead you too. You think you know better than the real experts. Hey, you think you know better than the multitude of people who watched the planes go into the towers live, and heard those who were responsible take responsibility again and again. You're delusional with these beliefs Dylan, delusional.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 23:43

      Fred All you do is go on the offense and start hurling insults when someone doesn't follow your sheltered view. I have put forward rational opinions based on various accounts of people from all over the world but because you can't answer them you rant and attack my childhood and say I am on the fringe of society. I have given you references to some of my arguments which I think you may have been to ignorant to read. I'll say it again the 9/11 commission report raised more questions than answers. Please read the link below and if you still can't at least raise a question in your brainwashed head then by all means keep your head buried in the sand. http://patriotsquestion911.com/ As you read and by all means check other websites that will verify what has been written these accounts are from former us GOVT and US GOVT hardly a bunch of crazies ob the fringe of society. Fred all I do is read different versions of the story, trust me i don't claim to know the answers. But one thing I know for certain the us and her allies are not what they claim to be. FACT!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-18 20:50

      Those are not insults Dylan. But if you have a weak Ego they'll feel like insults. This very sentence will feel that way too. The antidote is to heal oneself, love oneself, forgive oneself. The formal for all growth is: recognize, acknowledge, forgive, and change.

  • Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 19:40

    @patrick. Me thinks comrade Julius has been marginalized

      Fred - 2012-04-19 20:00

      One doesn't have to be smart to see that. It's obvious.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 20:08

      Wow we agree on something

      Lenzi - 2012-04-20 09:22

      911 was a pretext to start a war this is a very rational idea. @ Fred how did the 2 towers free fall with zero resistance as if they collapsed from the bottom? How did building 7 collapse without being touched? Why did the owner of the towers take out insurance from a terrorist attack a few weeks before? Why did they fall straight down just like a demolition job? Why are there no pictures or videos of the pentagon with plane debris or a plane hitting the Pentagon considering they must have cameras everywhere? Perhaps it was a missile considering the only images i can find are with a small neat hole in the wall. Why did the accounts department of the Pentagon get hit, where Donald Rumsfeld stated the day before the accounts dept of the pentagon can not account for 2 trillion dollars?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-18 20:48

      Because Osama Bin Laden and Al-Quaida declared war on the US and attacked it on 9/11. End of story.

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