News / Middle East

    Car Bombs Kill Dozens in Iraq

    • Onlookers gather outside Zain al-Abideen mosque, a Shi'ite place of worship, near where a suicide bomb attack occurred, Hilla, Iraq, May 21, 2013.
    • An Iraqi woman passes by the scene of a car bomb attack in Kamaliyah, a predominantly Shi'ite area of eastern Baghdad, May 20, 2013.
    • Mourners stand beside coffins of four members of a family killed in Basra bomb attacks, during a funeral in Najaf, Iraq, May 20, 2013.
    • Relatives carry the coffin of an Iraqi police officer killed by militants, Najaf, Iraq, May 20, 2013.
    • Residents gather at the site of a bomb attack in Basra, Iraq, May 20, 2013.
    • A wrecked truck is removed from the site of a car bomb attack in front of a crowded popular restaurant in Basra, Iraq, May 20, 2013.
    • People look at the scene of a car bomb attack in a predominantly Shi'ite area of eastern Baghdad, May 20, 2013.
    Edward Yeranian
    A wave of car bombings and suicide attacks against Shi'ite Muslims ripped through Iraqi cities Monday, killing at least 76 people and wounding scores more, extending the worst sectarian violence since U.S. troops withdrew from the country in December 2011.
     
    Monday's violence was extensive in Baghdad, where at least nine car bombs exploded at busy market places, crowded bus stops, and other areas of Shi'ite neighborhoods. 
     
    Burned-out vehicles and twisted metal littered the roadside near a car repair shop in a working-class district ravaged by one of the blasts. A young man who works at the repair shop says the force of the blast propelled people and debris in all directions.

    The explosions followed another series of bloody car-bomb attacks Friday, aimed at mostly Sunni targets. Nearly 70 people were killed in those attacks.

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    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said at a news conference Monday afternoon that the recent wave of violence was starting to resemble the worst period of sectarian strife to hit Iraq between 2005 and 2007. He said most Iraqis oppose such violence.
     
    Maliki said that the violence does not reflect the will of the Iraqi people. He said political activists are stoking tensions to create a cover for acts of violence and carry out the agenda of foreign parties.
     
    Bitter sectarian feuds
     
    The rising violence in Iraq comes as a bitter and brutal sectarian conflict rages in neighboring Syria.
     
    Analyst Maria Fantappie of the International Crisis group says the Syrian conflict is fueling some of the violence in Iraq, but that the domestic political stalemate and Maliki's unwillingness to compromise with his Sunni opponents is the main catalyst for the violence.
     
    "On one side you have the government, which has given very piecemeal concessions without really undertaking negotiations," she said. "And on the other side you have the protesters, who are very divided and they did not, over the past five months, succeed in forming a united block that could be a counterpart for the government in the negotiations."
     
    Fantappie said that attempts to hold negotiations appear to be stalled. She said the government's harsh security measures and weak response to protesters´demands gave the green light to members of the former resistance to respond with an armed fight. 
     
    The United Nations said 712 people were killed in April, making it the deadliest month in Iraq since June 2008.

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    Comments
         
    by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
    May 21, 2013 1:44 AM
    The main problem in IRAQ they could not catch the main player behind these horrible scene. They must increase their quality of security personeel to handle problem of this magnitude.They cannot solve out going problem unless and until they catch real player and punish them in front of general public. They have to increase their justice system to solve all these important issues on an urgent basis.

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    May 20, 2013 3:22 PM
    Iraq was the creation of colonial empires that forced people into a quasi state against their will. Much of the type of forced states created by colonialists all over the world. Be it in the Balkans, or Africa or Asia; all such unions have created is massive bloodshed, continuous wars and never ending terrorism. al-Maliki, as his predesessors, has taken rights away from others, and governs for the interests of his own tribe. These type of states need to be allowed to fall appart, so that people can have self determination of their own; with time, they may join into larger states/unions, but it must be of their own free will. It is unfortunate, that so many valiant Western force members, became casualties in trying to keep such divided multi-national states united. Iraq, as Syria, should be allowed to fully segment, along national/tribal lines, maybe then some semblance of peace will come about. These tribal societies can't be forced to unite and share power. It took Western Europe almost 2000 yrs to abandon extreme tribalism.

    by: Lisa from: USA
    May 20, 2013 10:06 AM
    thank God we are out of that Islamic cesspool...

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