News / Middle East

Fatal Car Bombings Rip Baghdad

A man looks at damaged vehicles at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, September 30, 2013.A man looks at damaged vehicles at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, September 30, 2013.
x
A man looks at damaged vehicles at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, September 30, 2013.
A man looks at damaged vehicles at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, September 30, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Edward Yeranian
— Dozens of people were killed or wounded Monday in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, when multiple car bombs exploded in mostly Shi'ite districts during morning rush hour.

Fire crews doused the burning wreckage of a car bomb in Baghdad's mostly Shi'ite district of Sadr City Monday morning. The explosives-laden vehicle blew up near a corner where day laborers wait for potential employers. Over half a dozen workers were killed in the blast.

Video footage showed several burnt-out vehicles, twisted metal wreckage and rubble from nearby shops ripped open by the explosion. An eyewitness said the driver of the car bomb left the vehicle before it blew up. He said a white Avio vehicle was parked nearby, not far from the workers, before it exploded suddenly, breaking up into several parts.

Workers swept concrete chunks of rubble and broken glass from the street as passers-by milled around to see what happened. Casualties were taken to nearby hospitals.

Reuters news agency reported that 14 car bombs went off across the Iraqi capital within a short period of time, in what appeared to be a coordinated spate of attacks. Most of the blasts appeared to target Shi'ite sectors of the capital.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sa'ad Ma'an told Iraqi TV that car bombs went off in the districts of Kazemiyah, Sha'ala, Hye al Jamiah, Ghazaliya and Square 55. Iraqi security forces also closed the 14th of Ramadan Bridge to prevent terrorists from moving about freely.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari blamed al-Qaida for the blasts in an interview with The Associated Press. He also claimed that recent violence in Iraq was “not a sign of sectarian conflict.” He argued that Iraqis had “learned from [previous] sectarian violence.”

Despite Zebari's assessment, Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, said participation of Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen in the fighting in neighboring Syria has directly exacerbated the sectarian violence in Iraq.

"I think the explosions in Iraq, especially attacks against Iraqi Shi'ites, have much to do with the involvement of the Shi'ite Abou Fadel al Abbas battalion in the Syrian armed conflict. There are thousands of Iraqi Shi'ites fighting in Syria,” said Khashan.

Khashan said Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah militia also has been actively training Iraqi militiamen to fight inside Syria on the side of the Assad government. He said that has led to the resentment of Sunni populations in both Iraq and Lebanon, and to recent acts of violence in both countries.  

  • A police officer examines a vehicle that was used in a car bombing in Baghdad's Sadr City, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • People inspect the site of a car bomb attack in the Ur district, northeastern Baghdad, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • A man looks at damaged vehicles at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, September 30, 2013.
  • Security forces tow away a destroyed car after a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • People pass by the ruins of the al-Hussein Shi'ite mosque day after a suicide bomber struck in Musayyib, Iraq, Sept. 30, 2013.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid