Bombings kill 70 in Baghdad Province

FAILINGS::The government remains unable to meet basic needs such as electricity and clean water, while corruption is widespread and the legislative process suffers paralysis


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 - Page 6

Iraqi authorities yesterday said two morning bomb attacks on the outskirts of Baghdad killed six, as the death toll from a wave of car bombings in Baghdad Province the day before jumped to more than 65.

Police and hospital officials say yesterday’s attacks included a blast in a market in the town of Taji that killed four and wounded 15.

Another bomb exploded outside the house of a local Sunni militia leader in the town of Basmaiya, killing two and wounding four.

The officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to release the information.

Twelve car bombs and a roadside bomb on Saturday hit Baghdad, while another bomb exploded in Madain to the south of the capital, a police colonel and a medical official said.

The blasts also wounded 190 people.

The bombs struck as Baghdad residents turned out to shop and relax in cafes after iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In the deadliest incidents, two car bombs killed 12 people in the Karrada, while two car bombs and a roadside bomb hit Zafraniyah, both areas in central Baghdad.

Violence also struck north Iraq.

A roadside bomb against a patrol killed a policeman and wounded another in the city of Mosul, while a car bomb southeast of the city killed a woman and wounded 22 people, including seven police, and a bomb to its west wounded three.

Saturday was the deadliest day of violence in Iraq since June 10, when attacks killed 78 people.

The Saturday bombings came a day after a suicide bomber killed 20 people inside a crowded Sunni mosque north of the capital.

Militants have attacked both Sunni and Shiite mosques in recent months, raising fears of a return to all-out sectarian conflict that killed tens of thousands of people.

More than 2,700 people have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of this year, according to Agence France-Presse figures based on security and medical sources.

In May, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered a shakeup of senior security officers, but the move has failed to curb the unrest.

Analysts say discontent among members of Iraq’s Sunni minority has fueled this year’s surge in unrest.

Protests broke out in Sunni-majority areas at the end of last year and are still ongoing. On April 23, security forces moved against protesters near the town of Hawijah, sparking clashes that killed 53 people.

In addition to security, the government in Baghdad is also failing when it comes to other basic functions. Iraqis are faced with severely lacking basic services, including electricity and clean water, and corruption is widespread, while political squabbling has paralyzed the government, which has passed almost no major legislation in years.