News / Middle East

Iraq Violence Claims 17

x
Reuters
At least 17 people, most of them Shi'ite Muslims, were killed in a wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq on Saturday ahead of a major Shi'ite ritual, medical and police sources said.  

The deadliest of the attacks took place in Baghdad's mainly Shi'ite district of Bayaa when a car bomb blew up near a gathering of Shi'ite pilgrims, killing seven people and wounding another 16, police and medics said.  

Three people were killed and 10 wounded in a mainly Shi'ite district on the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded in a vegetable market, police said.  

In the district of Husseiniya, a bomb left inside a restaurant killed two people and wounded another five, police said.  

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came a few days before Arbae'en, a holy ritual in which Shi'ites commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad.  

Iraqi security services have been on high alert since last week as they expect more attacks targeting Shi'ite communities in the coming days. Shi'ites are considered apostates by hardline Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining momentum in Iraq this year.

On Friday, masked gunmen killed 18 people, most of them Iranians, working on a gas pipeline outside the northeastern Iraqi town of Muqdadiya.

In other violence on Saturday, gunmen ambushed a military vehicle and shot dead three soldiers in western Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Two more soldiers were shot dead when gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint east of the Iraqi capital.  

Iraqi authorities blame al Qaeda for the rise in violence in the country, saying it is trying to destabilize the Shi'ite-led government and foment intercommunal conflict.   Insurgent attacks in Iraq have risen since the start of the year, with hundreds killed each month.

The growing violence has raised fears of a return to the heights of bloodshed seen in 2006-7, when tens of thousands died.  

Iraq's sectarian balance has come under further pressure from the civil war in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to topple a leader backed by Shi'ite Iran.  

So far Shi'ite militias, most of which disarmed in recent years and joined the reconstituted security forces or entered the political process, have largely held their fire. But a worsening Sunni insurgency could prompt Shi'ite militia to again take up arms.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
December 15, 2013 3:36 PM
Al Qaeda is a sunni group, and Iraq is two thirds shia. Insurgents try to prove that the government can't protect its people, its primary duty. The rule is that rebels don't win insurgent wars; governments lose them. If the instability becomes widespread and remains long enough, or if the government becomes excessively repressive in its tactics, the insurgents may gain support from the majority of the people and win control of the country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid