News / Middle East

Suicide Bomber Kills In Iraq at Least 50, Wounds 150

TEXT SIZE - +

A suicide-bomber blew himself up Tuesday in the midst of a crowd of aspiring police recruits in the Sunni-Arab town of Tikrit, north of Baghdad. The bloody bombing left at least 50 people dead and wounded at least 150 others. The attack appears to mark a strategy by insurgents of targeting Iraq’s fledgling security forces, as

The bombing resembled many other similar attacks on Iraqi security forces in recent months. Dozens of aspiring, mostly young police recruits were killed or wounded by the blast in front of the police station in Saddam Hussein’s hometown.

Baghdad TV reports that the casualties were numerous and that many had to be taken to hospitals in other area towns and cities. Local mosques also broadcast appeals for blood donations over loudspeakers.

One wounded young man, his face covered with blood and soot from the explosion, described the blast from his hospital bed:

He says that he felt what had to have been an extremely strong explosion around him.

Peter Harling of the Crisis Group in Damascus says that insurgents continue to try to change the political equation or dynamics in Iraq by hitting the country’s security forces, but without much success:

"I think what's left of the insurgency has refocused on two types of targets, the security apparatus on the one hand, and on the other hand we've had a string of attacks along the Arab-Kurdish fault line (and on) former Mehdi Army strongholds in Baghdad. I think these attacks are designed to try and change the dynamics in Iraq. They've failed to do so. It's quite striking that although 2010 was marked by protracted negotiations over the formation of a government over a period of 8 months, these attacks completely failed in their objective of changing the dynamics," he said.

Harling argues that the insurgency would ultimately need to change its strategy of blowing people up in order to have more impact on the political process. "They've been successful only in causing massive bloodshed, but haven't had a decisive impact in terms of the dynamics of this conflict, and that I think leaves the insurgency very much in disarray. So, whatever operations they are mounting have no concrete impact and in no way can garner wide-ranging popular support in Iraq," he said.

Several Iraqi officials accused al-Qaida of responsibility for the blast. Peter Harling, however, says it is not clear who is behind the bombing, or Iraq’s insurgency, but that they are using techniques inspired by al-Qaida, notably in Afghanistan. What’s left of the insurgency, he adds, is mostly composed of small cells, but not backed up by any significant popular support.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid