Wave of attacks kills 71 in Iraq

2012-09-09 22:19
Iraqis inspect many damaged cars at the sight of a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, 290km north of Baghdad, Iraq. (Emad Matti, AP)

Iraqis inspect many damaged cars at the sight of a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, 290km north of Baghdad, Iraq. (Emad Matti, AP)

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Baghdad - A wave of more than 25 attacks across Iraq killed 71 people and wounded more than 350 on Saturday and Sunday, security and medical sources said, with the security forces and markets among the targets.

The latest violence brings the number of people killed already this month to 101, according to an AFP tally.

While insurgents opposed to the Baghdad government are regarded as weaker than in past years, they are still capable of launching periodic mass-casualty attacks across the country.

The latest attacks came as Iraq's Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a leading Sunni, was sentenced in absentia on Sunday to hang for murder, though the carnage started hours the sentence was handed down.

In the deadliest attack, two car bombs exploded in a market on Sunday near the Imam Ali al-Sharqi shrine in southern Iraq, a security official said.

Dr Ali al-Alaa, a Maysan province health department official, said the blasts killed 14 people and wounded 60.

Before midnight on Saturday, gunmen assaulted an army checkpoint near Balad north of Baghdad and a roadside bomb exploded when additional soldiers arrived at the scene.

Eleven soldiers, including two officers, were killed and eight wounded, an army colonel and a medical source at Balad hospital said.

A police captain was also shot dead on Saturday night in the town of Garma, security and medical officials said.

Bombs in all areas

Early on Sunday, a car bomb exploded in a car park at the state-owned North Oil Company in Kirkuk in north Iraq, after which two other bombings in the city killed 10 people and wounded 153, said Sadiq Omar Rasul, head of the Kirkuk health directorate.

The two bombings in Kirkuk left body parts strewn in the streets, destroyed cars and damaged government buildings, an AFP correspondent said.

West of Kirkuk, a car bomb seriously wounded six soldiers, army Captain Taha Khalaf said, while another in Hawija, also west of the city, wounded two people, security and medical sources said.

Volatile, oil-rich Kirkuk province is part of a swathe of disputed territory in northern Iraq that the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate over opposition from Baghdad.

Three car bombs exploded in predominantly Shi'ite areas of the Iraqi capital on Sunday night.

A car bomb hit a market in the Washash area of west Baghdad, killing at least seven people and wounding at least 21, an interior ministry official and a medical official said.

An AFP journalist heard a loud explosion, and saw flames and a column of smoke rise from the site of the blast.

Another car bomb killed at least five people and wounded 22 near a restaurant in Shuala, while a third exploded in a commercial area of Hurriyah, killing three people and wounding 14, both in north Baghdad, the official and a medic said.

Three soldiers were killed in clashes with insurgents in the Abu Ghraib area, west of Baghdad, an interior ministry official and a medical source from Abu Ghraib hospital said.

French consul

And three car bombs in Taji, north of the capital, killed one person and wounded at least seven, while five roadside bombs exploded in and around Baquba, killing a soldier and wounding 17 people, security and medical officials said.

In the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, west of the capital, a sniper shot dead a soldier, the military and a medic said.

In Nasiriyah, south of Baghdad, a bomb exploded near a French honorary consulate, causing material damage and wounding an unspecified number of people, a French diplomat said.

The city's website put the toll from the bombing at one dead and one wounded.

A car bomb also exploded outside a Nasiriyah hotel, killing two people and wounding two, local hospital head Ahmed Abdul Saheb and a security source said.

Attacks in Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad, killed four people, including a police captain, and wounded 31, the local mayor and police said.

In the southern port city of Basra, a car bomb in a market killed three people and wounded at least 20, police and a medical official said.

In Tal Afar, northwest of Baghdad, a car bombing killed two people and wounded seven, police and a medic said.

Near Samarra, a city north of Baghdad, another car bomb killed two police, including Colonel Thair Idris, and wounded two, a police lieutenant colonel and a medical source said.

And a car bomb in Mosul wounded seven civilians, while three police officers were wounded in another car bombing west of the city.

Read more on:    tareq al-hashemi  |  iraq
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