News / Middle East

More Car Bombings Hit Baghdad

Local residents gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad, Feb. 3, 2014.
Local residents gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad, Feb. 3, 2014.
Edward Yeranian
A series of car bombs Monday struck parts of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Growing violence in Iraq killed 1,000 people and wounded 1,500 last month.

Ambulances take casualties to hospitals, after a car bomb exploded in the Horriya district, north of Baghdad.  Other bombings were reported in the district of Baladiyat and the suburb of Mahmoudiya. Iraqi satellite channels say more than a dozen people were killed in the blasts.

The bombings coincided with military operations by the Iraqi Army in the restive, mostly Sunni Anbar province. Heavy fighting has been raging between the army and Islamic militants in and around the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi for more than a month.

Witnesses say communications and electricity have been cut to Fallujah, most of which is now controlled by militants from the al Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group. An army statement said 57 militants were killed Sunday and Monday in Ramadi.

Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has threatened to attack Fallujah, and many residents have fled. Those remaining report shortages of food and medicine.

Sunni religious leaders in nearby Kirkuk are urging the Iraqi government not to attack Fallujah and allow local militiamen and police to reassert control.

They are calling for the government to immediately stop shelling residential and civilian areas and to withdraw the Iraqi Army from Anbar Province. They are also also urging Iraqi groups in other parts of the country to bring pressure on the government to solve the conflict peacefully.

  • Local residents gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad, Feb. 3, 2014.
  • Civilians inspect their damaged house after a car bombing in the Hurriyah neighborhood of northern Baghdad, Feb. 3, 2014.
  • Men inspect their home, which was damaged after a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Feb. 3, 2014.
  • People gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Feb. 3, 2014.

Provincial security committee head Falah al Kafaji says Iraqi security forces also attacked ISIL's base of operations in northern Babil Province, looking for the group's leader.

He says Iraqi intelligence indicates Abou Bakr al Baghdadi is in the region.  He says security forces combed the area, killing three terrorists after storming their headquarters.  He says others are being pursued.

Analyst James Denselow of the London-based Foreign Policy Center says car-bombs have become common in Iraq, and what is “clearly an unacceptable situation” in any other country now draws attention only when “body counts are high.”

Denselow says the Sunni-Shi'ite aspect of the conflict has a more regional and political dimension than a theological one.

"The Sunni-Shia dynamic just disguises what essentially is a geo-political power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia," he said. "That is (what) we see in places that are split like Lebanon and Iraq ... where this proxy struggle is being fought.  ...I do not think there is a huge amount of theology to this.  I think it is more raw power politics at play.”

Denselow argues Prime Minister Maliki is attaching his political fate to the military operations in Anbar Province, much as he did during an operation to capture the southern port city of Basrah in 2008 from Shi'ite militiamen.  Iraqi parliamentary elections are due to be held in April.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 03, 2014 12:17 PM
What is the origin of terrorism? Why is terrorism now semantic with certain regions of the world? What makes terrorism unique to these people who otherwise claim to be peaceful? How far has terrorism solved the problems which they aim to achieve by resorting to it? Now the ultimate question; who is going to make the result of a sincere appraisal of the works of terrorism available to the terrorists and/or their sponsors so that they decide whether through terror they have moved an inch forward toward achieving their objectives?

For all I can think of, the leaders out there in the Middle East - especially Saudi Arabia and Iran - should be held accountable for all terrorist activities going on in the Islamic world. These are the headquarters of the two functions of Islam at daggers drawn, and terror has been happening in their domains, and exported to everywhere else. What have they done to stop it? How bloody-thirsty are they that they have allowed their followers unleash terror all over the world while they pretend that nothing is happening - just because it rarely happens in Riyadh and Tehran? Into what blood bank have they been gathering the blood of all these terrorist activities?

The other day the Ayatollah claimed to be the superior leader. But I know that Riyadh controls a greater percentage of the Islamic world. Why has none of the leaders in Riyadh and Tehran voiced a dislike for terror and call their dogs to other? There are too many questions here without answer, but it is important that someone should point it out that Riyadh and Tehran are the two pivots terrorism worldwide, and if they say it should stop today, it will.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs