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.
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

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid