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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid