suntimes
A-OK 
Weather Updates

Wave of bombings in Iraq during holiday kills 69

Black smoke from car bomb attack is seen Baghdad Iraq Saturday Aug. 10 2013. A wave car bombings targeted cafes

Black smoke from a car bomb attack is seen in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. A wave of car bombings targeted cafes and markets around the Iraqi capital of Baghdad as people celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo)

storyidforme: 53356064
tmspicid: 19702253
fileheaderid: 9000389

Updated: August 10, 2013 6:54PM



BAGHDAD — A wave of car bombings Saturday, primarily targeting cafes and markets around the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killed 69 people who were celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The death toll in Saturday’s attacks is the highest since July 20, when brazen assaults on two prisons near Baghdad and other attacks left 71 dead.

Violence has been on the rise across Iraq since a deadly crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp in April, and attacks against civilians and security forces notably spiked during Ramadan. The surge of attacks has sparked fears that the country could spiral into a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

Police said the deadliest of Saturday’s attacks took place when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a residential area in the town of Tuz Khormato, killing eight people and wounding dozens, Mayor Shalal Abdool said. The town is about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.

Police said a car bomb exploded near an outdoor market in the Baghdad’s southeastern suburbs of Jisr Diyala shortly before sunset, killing seven people and wounding 20.

Also in southeastern Baghdad, officials said a car bomb went off inside a parking lot in the mainly Shiite New Baghdad neighborhood, killing three people.

Saif Mousa, the owner of a shoe store in New Baghdad, said he was sitting inside his shop when he heard the explosion.

“My shop’s windows were smashed and smoke filled the whole area,” Mousa said. “I went outside of the shop and I could hardly see because of the smoke. ... At the end, we had a terrible day that was supposed to be nice” because of the holiday.

Another car bomb exploded in a busy street in the Shiite neighborhood of Amil, killing three people and wounding 14, authorities said. They said another car bomb in Amil killed 3 people and wounded 14.

In the holy Shiite city of Karbala, police said four people were killed in a car bomb attack near a cafe at night. Karbala is 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad.

Police said four people were killed and 15 wounded when a car bomb exploded near a cafe in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Abu Dashir.

In northern Baghdad, a car bomb hit a restaurant in the Shiite area of Khazimiyah, killing five people and wounding 14, authorities said. Police also said that five people were killed when a car bomb exploded near a cafe in Baghdad’s southwestern neighborhood of Baiyaa.

Six people were killed and 15 were wounded in a car bomb explosion in the Shiite neighborhood of Shaab in northeastern Baghdad, officials said.

A car bomb hit near restaurant in the city’s northeastern suburb of Husseiniyah, killing seven people and wounding 15, police said.

Also, a car bomb explosion a commercial street in the Dora area in southern Baghdad killed five and wounded 15, authorities said.

Police officials said that all those attacks took place within an hour. Security forces and Shiites have been favorite targets for insurgents.

Earlier in the day, four people, including two children, were killed when a bomb exploded near a park just south of Baghdad, authorities said.

Later, a car bomb exploded in a busy street in Nasiriyah city in southern Iraq, killing four people and wounding 41 others, officials said. Nasiriyah is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad.

In the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a car bomb hit near a Shiite mosque, killing one person and wounding 20 others, police said.

Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures for all the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

Iraqi security forces have stepped up patrols and checkpoints to protect people during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations that mark the end of Ramadan. This year’s Ramadan was the most violence since 2007, with 671 people killed.

Associated Press



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.