Tue, Dec 03, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Violence claims 28 lives in Iraq despite ramped-up security


Attacks in Iraq, including a suicide bomb at a funeral, killed 28 people on Sunday as figures showed nearly 950 died last month in spiraling violence, despite ramped up security measures.

Iraq’s worst protracted period of unrest since it emerged from gruesome Sunni-Shiite violence in 2006-2007 has sparked fears of a return to the sectarian bloodletting that killed tens of thousands of people.

Officials have adopted an array of measures aimed at halting the attacks — focusing their efforts on resurgent al-Qaeda front groups emboldened by the war in neighboring Syria — but their efforts have so far failed to curb the daily violence.

On Sunday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the funeral of an anti-al-Qaeda fighter killed a day earlier near the restive city of Baquba.

The blast at the graveyard in nearby Wajihiyah village killed 12 people and left another 45 wounded, police and a doctor said.

Mudher al-Shallal al-Araki, the 27-year-old who was being buried, had been a fighter in the Sahwa, the Sunni tribal militias that from late 2006 sided with US forces against al-Qaeda, helping to turn the tide of Iraq’s insurgency.

Araki’s father was a leader in the Sahwa.

Twin bombings in Saadiyah, which like Wajihiyah lies in Diyala Province, killed five more people, while violence in Baghdad and the Sunni towns and cities of Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Mosul and Hawijah left 11 others dead, officials said.

The bloodshed was the latest in a months-long spike in violence that has killed more than 6,100 people, according to a tally based on security and medical reports.

New data from the Iraqi health, interior and defense ministries showed that 948 people were killed last month — 852 civilians, 53 policemen and 43 soldiers.

The overall monthly toll was marginally down from October’s multi-year high of 964, but last month was still among Iraq’s bloodiest since 2008.

In troubling scenes reminiscent of the worst of Iraq’s sectarian violence, dozens of bodies have been found in Baghdad and Sunni Arab areas north of the capital in recent days.

“I am profoundly disturbed by the recent surge in execution-style killings that have been carried out in a particularly horrendous and unspeakable manner,” UN special envoy Nickolay Mladenov said.

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