Spike in Iraq violence continues as co-ordinated bombings kill 62
No immediate claim for attacks, though tactics typical of local al-Qaeda branch
Site of a car bomb in Baghdad’s al-Shaab district yesterday. Ten car bombs exploded in the province, killing 42 people. Photograph: Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani
A series of car bombings in Baghdad, an explosion at a market and a suicide assault in a northern city killed at least 62 people across Iraq yesterday, officials said, the latest in a wave of attacks across the country.
Co-ordinated bombings hit Iraq each month, resulting in the deaths of more than 5,000 people since April.
The local branch of al-Qaeda often takes responsibility for the assaults, although there was no immediate claim for yesterday’s blasts.
The attacks were the deadliest single-day series of assaults since October 5th, when 75 people were killed in violence.
Police officers said the bombs in the capital, placed in parked cars and detonated over a half-hour period, targeted commercial areas and parking lots, killing 42 people.
The deadliest struck in the southeastern Nahrwan district, where two car bombs exploded simultaneously, killing seven and wounding 15, authorities said. Two other explosions hit the northern Shaab and southern Abu Dshir neighbourhoods, each killing six people.
Other blasts hit the neighbourhoods of Mashtal, Baladiyat and Ur in eastern Baghdad, the southwestern Bayaa district and the northern Sab al-Bor and Hurriyah districts.
Meanwhile, in the city of Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into a group of soldiers, killing 14, a police officer said. The soldiers were sealing off a street leading to a bank where troops were receiving salaries. t least 30 people were wounded.
Also in Mosul, police said gunmen shot dead two off-duty soldiers in a drive-by shooting.
In the afternoon, a bomb killed four people and wounded 11 inside an outdoor market in the Sunni town of Tarmiyah, 30 miles north of Baghdad.
Al-Qaeda’s local branch frequently targets civilians in public areas in Shiite areas in an attempt to undermine confidence in the government, as well as members of the security forces. All of yesterday’s car bombings in Baghdad struck Shiite neighbourhoods.
Violence has spiked in Iraq since April, when the pace of killing reached levels unseen since 2008. The latest attacks bring the death toll across the country this month to 545, according to an Associated Press count. – (AP)