News / Middle East

Rare Bombings in Iraq's Basra Kill 10 People

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Basra, Iraq, March 17, 2013.
Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Basra, Iraq, March 17, 2013.
VOA News
Iraq's southern city of Basra has been hit by a rare double car bombing, with at least 10 people killed and 16 others wounded.

The most serious attack happened Sunday at a bus terminal in a town on the outskirts of Basra. Provincial security committee chief Ali al-Maliki said 10 people were killed.  Minutes earlier, another car bomb exploded in a parking lot in central Basra, wounding several people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in and around the normally-peaceful port city, which is predominantly Shi'ite.

Minority Sunni militants linked to al-Qaida frequently attack Shi'ite targets to try to undermine the government of Shi'ite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Many Iraqi Sunnis have been staging protests against Mr. Maliki in recent months, accusing him of discriminating against their community. Al-Qaida has been trying to exploit that discontent to trigger a sectarian civil war.

Al-Qaida's Iraqi affiliate issued a statement Sunday saying it was responsible for an attack on the Iraqi Justice Ministry in Baghdad last Thursday. The attackers set off bombs and stormed the complex, triggering a battle with Iraqi security forces. About 20 people were killed in the incident.

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