Multiple bombs rock Iraq capital, 7 dead

2014-02-05 11:02
Local residents gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in the Hurriyah neighbourhood of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. (Ahmad al-Rubaye, AFP)

Local residents gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in the Hurriyah neighbourhood of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. (Ahmad al-Rubaye, AFP)

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

Baghdad - Three explosions in Baghdad, including a car bomb opposite the foreign ministry, killed at least seven people and wounded more than 20 others on Wednesday, security and medical officials said.

The explosions, in confessionally-mixed neighbourhoods of Baghdad, come amid the worst surge in bloodshed in more than five years, raising fears Iraq is slipping back into the sectarian violence that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007.

The blasts, which also hit a restaurant and a market for vehicle spare parts, struck during the morning rush hour.

The attack at the restaurant was a suicide bombing, while the other two explosions were caused by vehicles rigged with explosives.

The area surrounding the foreign ministry in central Baghdad has been hit by explosions in the past, notably in August 2009, when a massive truck bomb devastated the building, and again ahead of an Arab summit in the Iraqi capital in 2012.

More than 1 000 people were killed in January of this year, according to government data, as security forces have struggled to curb bombings while also battling jihadists and other militants who have seized territory in the western Anbar province.

Slow progress

Foreign leaders and diplomats have urged the Shi’ite-led government to reach out to Iraq's disaffected Sunni minority, but with parliamentary elections looming in April, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has taken a hard line.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, but Sunni militant groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) are typically blamed for violence in the capital.

Isil has also been involved in fighting security forces in Anbar province, a mostly Sunni desert region bordering Syria where militants have for weeks held parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, which lies on Baghdad's doorstep.

Along with Isil, other militant groups and anti-government tribes have fought forces loyal to the central government.

Security forces and pro-government tribal fighters have made slow progress in Ramadi after days of heavy clashes, and late on Tuesday had retaken several neighbourhoods that had been militant strongholds, according to officers and an AFP journalist.

Families will be allowed to return to their homes within days, a general leading the operation said, after security forces check the areas for booby-traps and bombs.

In Fallujah, however, security forces have largely stayed out of the city in recent weeks fearing major incursions could ignite a drawn-out campaign with high civilian casualties and heavy damage to property.

The city was a bastion of the Sunni insurgency following the 2003 US-led invasion, and American troops there fought some of the costliest battles since the Vietnam War.

Ahmed Abu Risha, a prominent tribal leader in the Sunni Awakening movement, which allied with US troops against al-Qaeda and now supports the government, said an attack on the city was imminent and urged anti-government fighters to lay down their arms.

The stand-off has prompted more than 140 000 people to flee their homes, the UN refugee agency said, describing it as the worst displacement in Iraq since the peak of the sectarian fighting.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  is  |  isil  |  un  |  nuri al-maliki  |  iraq
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Blogs
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on sharing the optimistic energy with your loved one. You are in the mood to go large and impress your...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.