Two truck bombs targeting a tiny sect in a village in northern Iraq and a spate of bloody bombings in Baghdad killed at least 42 people yesterday and wounded nearly 250, police said.
In the deadliest single attack, two booby-trapped trucks exploded before dawn in the village of Khaznah, east of the restive northern Iraqi city of Mosul, leaving 28 people dead and 155 wounded.
The massive blasts leveled 35 houses and gouged deep craters into the ground of the prosperous village of 3,000, home to members of the small Shabak community, a sect of Kurdish origin.
Falah Ridha, a 23-year-old nurse wounded in the attack, said he was the only survivor of 12 people in his family home.
“Eleven people in my family were killed when their house collapsed. All of them woke up after the first bomb, but the second bomb was very close to my house, it was like an earthquake,” he said. “No one else escaped, just me.”
Mohammed Kadhem, 37, said: “I was sleeping on the roof and I woke up as if there was an earthquake. After that I saw a plume of smoke and dust spreading everywhere.”
“A minute later another bomb went off, knocking me off the roof onto the ground,” he said.
Another resident, Assaad Salem, said: “I had just finished my prayers and was trying to sleep when the first bomb went off ... Then the other bomb went off and I thought this is doomsday, this is the end of all life.”
Mosul has been the frequent target of attacks despite a marked decline in violence elsewhere in the country, and US commanders describe it as the last urban bastion of al-Qaeda loyalists in Iraq.
The country’s second city with a population of about 1.6 million, Mosul is mainly Sunni — both Arab and Kurdish — but it also has significant Christian and Shiite Turkmen minorities.
In Baghdad, two bombs went off as day workers gathered in the morning to look for jobs.
The first bomb, hidden inside a bag of cement, exploded at Hay al-Amel in the west of the capital, killing seven people and injuring 46.
The second attack, a car bomb in Shurta Arbaa in the north of the city, killed nine people and wounded 36 others.
A third bombing at a market in the southern suburb of Saidiyah killed three people and wounded 14.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s