Car bombs in central Iraq kill 22

2013-06-10 18:27
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

Baghdad - Militants detonated explosives-laden cars around two busy markets in central Iraq on Monday, killing 22 people and wounding dozens, the latest in a wave of violence ravaging the country.

Attacks in Iraq have spiked to levels not seen since 2008. The surge in bloodshed, which follows months of protests by the country's Sunni Arab minority against the Shi'ite-led government, is raising fears that Iraq is heading for another bout of sectarian violence.

Monday's deadliest attack occurred in Diyala province when three parked car bombs exploded virtually simultaneously around a wholesale fruit and vegetable market at the height of business in the town of Jidaidat al-Shatt. The town is just outside the provincial capital of Baqouba, about 60km northeast of Baghdad.

The blasts killed 15 people and wounded 46. Soon after the explosions, security forces sealed the roads linking Baqouba to Baghdad in an apparent effort to prevent further attacks.

Shortly after midday, another car bomb went off near a fish market in the northern Baghdad suburb of Taji, killing seven shoppers and wounding 25, police said.

Baqouba and the surrounding Diyala province was once the site of some of the fiercest fighting between US forces and insurgents in Iraq, and it remains a hotbed for terrorist attacks. The area is religiously mixed, and witnessed some of the worst atrocities as Shiite militias battled Sunni insurgents for control in the years after the 2003 US-led invasion.

The three car bombs used in the attack near Baqouba were deployed in different locations in and around the market in order to inflict most damage and casualties, police officials said. One of the vehicles was a pick-up truck loaded with produce that was parked inside the market itself.

Lack intelligence

Last Friday, Diyala was the site of another deadly bombing. A suicide attacker drove an explosives-laden car into a bus carrying Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims visiting holy shrines in Iraq, killing 11 and wounding more than two dozen.

The attack took place in the town of Muqdadiyah, about 90km north of Baghdad.

Provincial councillor Sadiq al-Husseini blamed that attack and Monday's bombing in the produce market on al-Qaeda linked groups.

"When the grip is tightened on these groups, they resort to random attacks on residents and foreign pilgrims in order to show to the people that they are still active," he said. "Our security forces still lack intelligence and bomb detecting equipment" to stop such attacks, he added.

Medics in nearby hospitals confirmed the casualty figures for both of Monday's attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks - as has been the case for much of the violence in recent weeks - but co-ordinated car bombings in civilian areas are frequently the work of al-Qaida's front group in Iraq, known as the Islamic State of Iraq.

According to the United Nations, at least 1 045 Iraqi civilians and security personnel were killed in May. The tally surpassed April's 712 killed.

Read more on:    iraq  |  religion

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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.