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.
‘NOT AN INCH’: The president said after incursions by Chinese warplanes that there should be very smooth collaboration between the executive and military branches President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that Taiwan would not budge “an inch” on issues of sovereign territory and would stalwartly defend its democratic freedoms. Tsai made the remarks during an inspection of surface-to-air missiles at an air force base in Hualien. She was accompanied by National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Wellington Koo (顧立雄), Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Chief of the General Staff Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) and Republic of China Air Force Commander Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基). After attending a briefing, Tsai was given a demonstration of procedures for a missile launch. Tsai granted the base a one-time subsidy to boost troop
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the