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Coordinated Bombings Kill 127 in Iraqi Capital

Reports say three blasts were coordinated, taking place within several minutes of each other

A wave of car bombings rocked the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Tuesday morning, killing at least 127 people and wounding more than 400 others. It was the worst violence to hit Baghdad, since October, when two massive car-bombs killed 155 people.

Ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals across Baghdad, after a wave of powerful car-bombings struck at least four neighborhoods within minutes, rocking the city.

Iraqi TV showed a billowing plume of black smoke hanging over the site of one bombing, as firemen and rescue workers helped the wounded and picked through debris.  The twisted and smoking carcass of a car bomb was visible in the street, next to other ruined vehicles.

A suicide-bomber also detonated his vehicle near a police patrol in the suburb of Dora, killing and wounding a number of students at a technical college near the explosion, as well as the policemen.

Looking frightened and angry, one young man who attends the college explained what happened, saying the area is a scene of desolation and that women and children were hurt and the school damaged.  He asks the purpose of all of this.

Iraqi security forces picked through the smoking rubble rising from the middle of a wide boulevard, in the Wizaria neighborhood, near the labor and interior ministries.  Overturned lamp-posts and torn street signs littered the pavement.

A middle-aged man says that he heard two car bombs explode, almost simultaneously, near the Neda'a Mosque.

He says it was a double-explosion, with one car blowing up in a tunnel and another on the road above the tunnel, killing people everywhere.  He says that the government is responsible for allowing this carnage to take place.

An old man with a beard muttered that it was the "ordinary people that were paying the price of the violence," while those whom he holds responsible - members of parliament - "are safely holed up in [central Baghdad's] Green Zone."

Violence for the month of November across Iraq dropped significantly, with government figures indicating that just 122 people died - in the lowest monthly toll since the US-led invasion in April 2003.

However, recent political confusion, following repeated delays in approving Iraq's electoral law, has analysts worried that violence may increase during a vacuum in the lead up to parliament elections.

A top Iraqi electoral official said Tuesday that elections could be delayed until the beginning of March, while the United Nations is urging elected officials to announce the date of the election "as soon as possible."

 

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