News / Middle East

Suicide Bomber Kills In Iraq at Least 50, Wounds 150

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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More