News / Middle East

At Least 50 Killed in Iraq Attacks

At Least 50 Killed in Iraq Attacksi
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March 19, 2013
A series of car bombings has killed dozens of people in the Iraqi capital -- on the tenth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Baghdad.

At Least 50 Killed in Iraq Attacks

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Scott Bobb
— A series of car bombings in the Iraqi capital has killed more than 50 people and wounded at least 200.  The attacks come on the tenth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. 

Rescue workers rushed to aid the mostly civilian casualties as the bombs detonated at regular intervals during the height of the morning rush hour Tuesday.

A security clampdown at the city's hundreds of checkpoints caused large traffic jams in certain areas.

Residents said it was the largest number of attacks in a single day in several years.

A few days earlier, bombings in southern Iraq killed 10 people and coordinated multiple attacks on government buildings in Baghdad killed dozens more.

Many people viewed the attacks as a statement by government opponents that their violent resistance would continue.

Photo Gallery: Iraq Bombings

  • People inspect a car destroyed in a car bomb attack close to one of the main gates to the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, March 19, 2013.
  • People carry the body of a car bomb victim following an attack near the municipal building in the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, March 19, 2013.
  • People examine damage inflicted on their house by a car bomb attack in al-Mashtal, Baghdad, March 19, 2013.
  • Children inspect a bus destroyed in a car bomb attack in the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, March 19, 2013.
  • A police officer stands guard at the site of car bomb attack in Shuala, Baghdad, March 19, 2013.

The bombings, mostly in Shia-dominated areas, also raised worries of a surge of sectarian-based violence on the tenth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.  More than 100,000 people died during the war and the armed resistance and sectarian conflicts that followed it.

The conflicts have aggravated tensions between some members of Iraq's Sunni and Shi'ite communities as well as with ethnic Kurds who have an autonomous region in northern Iraq.

Islamist extremists affiliated with al-Qaida also stage attacks as part of their campaign to undermine the Shi'ite-led government.

The head of Baghdad's Center for Political Analysis, Hadi Jallo Made, says a few Iraqis are prepared to use violence to advance their political, religious or ideological agendas.

He says such differences could push these groups to a sectarian-based conflict, but not the Iraqi people. He says most Iraqis hate this violence by militia and groups with radical ideologies.

Ordinary Iraqis, like coffee shop owner Haitham Bashar, say the lack of security is hurting the economy, still struggling to recover from decades of war and economic sanctions.

He says there is no movement in the market because the situation is so bad, the lack of security, bad government policies, the politicians.

Ten years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis are angry over the lack of security, weak public services and bickering among politicians.

Some say life was better under Saddam's sometimes brutal dictatorship. But most say they do not want to return to the conflicts of recent years.


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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mustafa from: pakistan
March 19, 2013 10:36 PM
This is sad part that one place usa is against al qaida and in other place they are working closely to change the regime. what is going on in iraq is the responsility of saudi arabia who is the main sponsor of terrorism in islamic state in the name of WAHABI ISLAM.


by: hebasami from: newzealand
March 19, 2013 8:59 AM
its not shi'ia or sunni these people are iraqis all iraqis doesn't matter what they believe in and they are all killed in cold blood so don't point that out cause people die from both sides daily and thats the sad truth about iraq these days . don't start ideas that creates more trouble than whats already happening there, iraqis have had enough !!! someone needs to fix this mess and fix it quick before more innocent people die.

In Response

by: Rev from: Algeria
March 19, 2013 6:03 PM
Iraqi or not Iraqi, in the whole arab world the problem today is the same, even in the regions where there is only sunni or shii, why? because the ideology today is bigger than just two religious partis, it's the need do live in a permanent state of division, because from division war comes, and by war the division remains
people are dominated by one Idea: finding the most cruel means to make war happen and last

In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: canada
March 19, 2013 12:54 PM
A man called saddam hussein fixed the problem once however he was called dictator and killed by USA. Same thing is happening in Libya and Egypt.
In some countries, dictatorship is a better option to their people. Dont be fooled by west media.

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