Death toll rises as Iraq gripped by violence

2014-01-15 18:18
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Baghdad - A wave of bombings across Iraq striking busy markets and a funeral north of Baghdad killed at least 44 people on Wednesday, authorities said, as the country remains gripped by violence after al-Qaeda-linked militants took control of two cities in western Anbar province.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Insurgent groups, mainly al-Qaeda's local branch and other Sunni militants, frequently target civilians in cafes and public areas, as well as Shi’ites and members of Iraqi security forces in an attempt to undermine confidence in the Shi’ite-led government and stir sectarian tensions.

The deadliest attack struck a funeral in the town of Buhriz, about 60km north of Baghdad.

That bombing killed 16 people and wounded 26 inside of a mourning tent, a police officer said.

The funeral was for an anti-al-Qaeda Sunni militiaman who died of natural causes two days ago. The Sunni militia, known as the Awakening Council, was formed by US forces during the height of the insurgency.

They are seen as traitors by al-Qaeda's local branch and other militant groups.

In Baghdad, a series of bombings killed at least 28 people.

The deadliest attack there took place in the northern Shula neighbourhood, where a parked car bomb exploded in an outdoor market, killing five shoppers and wounding 12, a police officer said.

In another nearby market, a bomb killed three civilians and wounded 10, authorities said.

A car bombing in the nearby Shaab neighbourhood killed four civilians and wounded 14, officials said.

Another car bomb in a commercial area in the central Karrada area killed four civilians and wounded 14, police said. A car bomb in another part of Karrada killed two civilians and wounded 10, authorities said.

In Baghdad's southern suburb of Hussainya, a car bomb killed four civilians and wounded 11 in a market, officials said.

In the capital's eastern Palestine Street, a car bomb killed three civilians and wounded 10, authorities said.

Another market bombing killed three civilians and wounded eight in the eastern Maamil area, police said.

Medical officials confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to release information.

Fighting al-Qaeda

The army and allied tribesmen have been fighting al-Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group around Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi, and the nearby city of Fallujah.

The militants control the centre of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, a major challenge to the government and its forces two years after the withdrawal of US troops.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki urged Anbar tribal allies to continue fighting al-Qaeda in a speech on Wednesday.

"The tribesmen should take a firm stance in order to expel the terrorists from their areas so that peace would prevail there," al-Maliki said during his weekly televised address.

Also on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah have acute health needs due to the conflict.

The organisation said it has dispatched 2 tons of medicines and supplies.

"There is an increasing number of patients suffering from injuries which, if not treated, will lead to irreversible damage," the WHO's Iraq representative, Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain, said in a statement.

Violence has escalated in Iraq over the past year. Last year, Iraq saw the highest death toll since the worst of the country's sectarian bloodletting began to subside in 2007, according to UN figures. The UN said violence killed 8 868 last year.

At least 288 people have died in violence across the country so far this month, according to an AP count.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    un  |  al-qaeda  |  who  |  nouri al-maliki  |  iraq publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks change 2 for USA clash
Naholo remains under injury cloud
Eddie Jones would consider England job
England in hot water over official approach
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to more

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


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 network.


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.