Bombs kill at least 50 on anniversary of Iraq invasion

Attacks target mainly Shia areas 10 years after US troops swept into Iraq

Iraqi policemen examine the remains of a car bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City today. Photograph: Qahtan al-Sudani/Reuters

Iraqi policemen examine the remains of a car bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City today. Photograph: Qahtan al-Sudani/Reuters

 

Car bombs and a suicide blast hit Shia districts of Baghdad and south of Iraq's capital today, killing at least 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the invasion that deposed Saddam Hussein.

Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al-Qaeda have stepped up attacks on Shia targets since the start of the year in a campaign to stoke sectarian tension and undermine prime minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.

Today's car bombs detonated near a busy Baghdad market, close to the heavily fortified Green Zone and in other districts across the capital. A suicide bomber driving a truck attacked a police base in a Shia town just south of the capital, police and hospital sources said.

"I was driving my taxi and suddenly I felt my car rocked. Smoke was all around. I saw two bodies on the ground. People were running and shouting everywhere," said Al Radi, a taxi driver caught in one of the blasts in Baghdad's Sadr City.

Another 160 people were wounded in the attacks, hospital officials said.

No group claimed responsibility for today's blasts, but Iraq's al-Qaeda wing, Islamic State of Iraq, has vowed to take back ground lost in its long war with American troops. Since the start of the year the group has carried out a string of high-profile attacks.

Gunmen and suicide bombers stormed the well-protected Justice Ministry building in central Baghdad on Thursday, killing 25 people in an attack by the al-Qaeda affiliate.

A decade after US and Western troops swept into Iraq to remove Saddam from power, Iraq still struggles with a stubborn insurgency, sectarian frictions and political instability among its Shia, Sunni and Kurdish factions.

Syria's civil war is further fanning Iraq's volatility as Islamist insurgents invigorated by the mainly Sunni rebellion against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad try to tap into Sunni Muslim discontent in Iraq.

Reuters

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.