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Iraq Blasts Kill At Least 72, Raise Specter of Civil War

Video

Wave of explosions kills dozens in Iraq (NBC News, Jan. 5, 2012) – Explosions rocked two Shiite neighborhoods in Iraq, killing dozens of people. (00:28)

The Associated Press and Reuters via MSNBC.com
January 5, 2012

BAGHDAD — A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people on Thursday, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December. …

The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people.

A few hours later, a suicide attack hit Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, killing 45, said provincial official Quosay al-Abadi. The explosions took place near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles southeast of Baghdad. …

The new violence will only exacerbate the country’s political crisis pitting politicians from the Shiite majority who dominate the government against the Sunni minority, which reigned supreme under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.

Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government last month issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice-president, the country’s top Sunni politician.

The Sunni official, Tariq al-Hashemi, is holed up in Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north — effectively out of reach of state security forces.

The latest attack have only deepened the fears of a return to sectarian strife in Iraq, which teetered on the brink of civil war in 2006-7. …

Full story

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1/10/2012 Update

3 Car Bombs Kill 17 in Iraqi Capital

Image: Tariq al-Hashemi
Iraq’s Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi speaks during a Dec. 23, 2011, interview with the Associated Press near Sulaimaniyah, 160 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)

By Adam Schreck and Yahya Barzanji

January 9, 2012

BAGHDAD — Three car bombs exploded Monday evening in the Iraqi capital and killed at least 17 people, authorities said. At least one appeared to target Shiite pilgrims, sinking the country deeper into a new wave of sectarian violence.

A second car bomb struck near a police vehicle in the Shiite neighborhood of al-Shaab, killing three policemen and four other people, police and hospital officials said. Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb killed two Shiite pilgrims in a Baghdad suburb.

The attacks were the latest in a wave of violence primarily targeting Shiites that has killed more than 90 people in less than a week.

Security forces discovered a third car bomb in a predominantly Sunni area in western Baghdad later in the evening. It exploded while sappers were trying to defuse it, killing a soldier, officials said.

The leaders of Iraq’s rival sects have been locked in a standoff since last month, when authorities in the Shiite-dominated government called for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi’s arrest on terrorism charges just as the last American troops were withdrawing from the country. Al-Hashemi is Iraq’s highest ranking Sunni politician. …

Also Monday, an al-Qaida front group in Iraq [the Islamic State of Iraq] claimed responsibility for a November bombing inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, a heavily protected area in the center of the Iraqi capital. Al-Maliki has described the Green Zone bombing near parliament as an assassination attempt against him.

The claim of responsibility by the Sunni militants said the suicide attack was targeting “the head of the Iranian project in Iraq,” an apparent reference to al-Maliki and the ties of Iraqi Shiites to Shiite-majority Iran. The statement said the attack failed because the car exploded prematurely. …

Full story

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1/14/2012 Update


Bomb kills at least 53 pilgrims in south Iraq (AP, Jan. 14, 2012) – A bomb killed at least 53 Shiite pilgrims near the southern port city of Basra on Saturday, an Iraqi official said. (00:50)

Bomb kills 50 Shiite pilgrims, wounds 100 in Iraq (AP and Reuters, Jan. 14, 2012) — The death toll from a suicide bomb attack on Shiite pilgrims in the southern Iraqi city of Basra rose to 50 people with another 100 wounded in the blast. It was the latest in a series of attacks during Shiite religious commemorations that threaten to further increase sectarian tensions just weeks after the U.S. withdrawal. … Full story

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1/15/2012 Update

Ten dead in militant attack in Iraq’s Ramadi (Reuters, Jan. 15, 2012) — Ten people were killed when gunmen wearing explosive belts stormed a police building in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Sunday, police and provincial officials said. The attack in mainly Sunni Anbar province followed several weeks of bombings targeting Shi’ites after the eruption of a political crisis that has threatened to break up the coalition government and raised fears of renewed sectarian violence. … Full story

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1/29/2012 Update

Blast Outside Hospital Kills Dozens in Baghdad


People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack in Zafaraniyah, Baghdad, on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. (Photo credit: Khalid Mohammed / AP)

The Associated Press and MSNBC.com
January 27, 2012

BAGHDAD — At least 32 people — including at least six policemen — are dead from a car-bomb attack near a funeral procession, The Associated Press reports.

Police said the blast struck in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Zafaraniyah, where mourners had gathered for the funeral of Mohammed al-Maliki, a real estate agent who was killed with his wife and son on Thursday. They said 65 people were wounded in the attack. …

Insurgents have stepped up violence in Iraq since the U.S. military withdrawal last month. More than 200 people have been killed since the beginning of the year.

Full story

Video (00:47)

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2/22/2012 Update

15 Killed in Suicide Blast Targeting Baghdad Police Academy

Iraqi policemen stand guard outside a Baghdad police academy that was the target of a suicide car bombing on Sunday.
Iraqi policemen stand guard outside a Baghdad police academy that was the target of a suicide car bombing on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012. (Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images via CNN)

By Mohammed Tawfeeq

February 20, 2012

Baghdad (CNN) — Violent overnight attacks in Iraq killed nearly two dozen people Sunday.

A suicide bomber detonated a car rigged with explosives at the main entrance of the police academy in eastern Baghdad, killing at least 15 people as recruits were leaving, Iraqi police officials said.

The attack, which occurred on the traditional start of the work week in the Arab world, wounded at least 21 others, police officials said. …

North of Baghdad, in Diyala province, seven others were killed in two attacks. In the first incident, four people were gunned down at a house late Saturday night. Three others were shot dead by gunmen who opened fire at a checkpoint just south of Baquba, the provincial capital.

Among the victims were members of awakening councils — groups mainly made up of Sunni Arab fighters who turned against al Qaeda. …

The latest attacks come as Iraq remains mired in a political crisis split along sectarian lines, which has raised fears about a return to the levels of violence that nearly tore the country apart in 2005 and 2006. …

Full story

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2/24/2012 Update

4 Hours of Chaos: Dozens Die as Terrorists Attack 12 Cities across Iraq


Iraqis inspect the damage following a blast in central Baghdad on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. (Photo credit: Sabah Arar / AFP – Getty Images)

The Associated Press and Reuters via MSNBC.com
February 23, 2012

BAGHDAD — A rapid series of attacks across a wide swath of Iraq killed at least 60 people Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country.

The apparently coordinated bombings and shootings unfolded over four hours in the capital Baghdad — where most of the deaths were — and 11 other cities. They struck government offices and restaurants while one in the town of Musayyib hit close to a primary school. At least 225 people were wounded.

At least 32 people were killed in blasts in Baghdad where 10 explosions tore through mainly Shiite neighborhoods during rush hour.

It was the latest of a series of large-scale attacks that insurgents have launched every few weeks since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in mid-December at the end of a nearly 10-year war. …

While no group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, targeting security officials is a hallmark of Al-Qaida in Iraq. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for a similar strike on Jan. 5 that killed 78 people and mostly targeted Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, in what was the worst day of violence to shake Iraq in months.

In the single deadliest strike Thursday, a car bomb in Baghdad’s downtown shopping district of Karradah killed nine people and wounded 26. The blast effects could be felt blocks away, shaking buildings and windows. …

And in another part of capital, gunmen with silenced pistols killed a total of eight policemen at security checkpoints, officials said. …

In Musayyib, a car bomb parked on the street between a restaurant and an elementary school killed one person and wounded 62. Most of the injured were school children, said police and health officials.

Attacks in Baqouba, Kirkuk and in Salahuddin provinces were also reported in the relentless string of assaults that unfolded over a four-hour period.

Officials in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of the capital, said a suicide bomber blew up his car outside a police station near a market. Two people were killed and eight wounded.

In the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, two police patrols were hit by roadside bombs. Twenty policemen were injured in the attacks, police Maj. Gen. Sarhat Qadir sid.

Bombs in the town of Tuz Khormato outside Kirkuk wounded three guards near the office of a Kurdish political party. And south of Baghdad, eight policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb in the town of Madain, said Mayor Jalal Baban. Madain is about 14 miles southeast of the capital.

On Sunday, a suicide car bombing killed 19 people at a Baghdad police academy

Full story

Video

Dozens killed in shootings and bombings in Iraq (MSNBC-TV, Feb. 23, 2012) – A sudden outbreak of violence has killed at least 60 people across Iraq. MSNBC.com’s Dara Brown reports. (00:33)

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4/20/2012 Update

At Least 36 Killed in 20 Bomb Blasts in Iraq


Iraqi firefighters work at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, April 19, 2012. (Photo credit: Khalil Al-A’nei / EPA)


April 19, 2012

More than 20 bombs hit cities and towns across Iraq Thursday, killing at least 36 and wounding more than 100, police and hospital sources said, raising fears of sectarian strife in a country keen to show it can now maintain security.

In Baghdad, three car bombs, two roadside bombs and one suicide car bomb hit mainly Shiite areas in what looked like coordinated attacks, killing 15 people and wounding 61, the sources said.

Two car bombs and three roadside bombs aimed at police and army patrols in the northern oil city of Kirkuk killed eight people and wounded 26, police and hospital sources said. …

Heightened tension between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds in the fragile coalition government since U.S. troops withdrew in December has raised fears of a return to sectarian violence of the kind that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war a few years ago.

The country is less violent than at the height of that conflict in 2006-07, but bombings and killings still happen daily, often aimed at Shiite areas and local security forces. …

Attacks in Iraq are mostly blamed on Sunni Arab insurgents who have refused to lay down arms after the withdrawal of U.S. forces in December.

Full story

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6/5/2012 Update

Suicide attack kills 18 in Iraq (CNN, June 4, 2012) — A suicide bomber detonated his car next to a government building in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 18 people and wounding 125, police said. The attack targeted the offices of Shiite religious affairs in the Bab al-Mouadham district in north-central Baghdad. On Thursday, a series of explosions over a three-hour period shook several areas in Baghdad, leaving at least 14 people dead and dozens injured, Iraqi police said. … Full story

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6/14/2012 Update

At Least 90 Killed During Religious Festival as Bombers Target Iraq Pilgrims, Cops


The scene of a car bomb attack in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP via The New York Times)

The Associated Press and Reuters via MSNBC.com
June 13, 2012

BAGHDAD — Bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and police in southern Iraq killed more than 70 people on Wednesday in a wave of attacks during a major religious festival, police and hospital sources said. … [Update: More than 90 dead and at least 260 wounded.]

In Wednesday’s attack on the capital, at least 18 people were killed when four bombs struck Shiite pilgrims across Baghdad as they gathered to mark the anniversary of the 8th-century death of Shiite imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

It was the worst day of violence since early January, when four bombs in Baghdad killed 73, and the latest in a spate of bombings on Shiite religious sites.

In the southern city of Hillah, two car bombs, including one detonated by a suicide bomber, exploded outside restaurants used by police, killing 22 people and wounding 38. Two more car bombs killed four people in the mainly Shiite city of Balad. …

Wednesday’s attacks came at a sensitive time. On Sunday, at least six people were killed when two mortar bombs struck a Baghdad square packed with Shiite Muslim pilgrims.

Earlier this month, 26 people were killed and more than 190 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-rigged car outside a Shiite religious office in the capital.

Full story

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7/5/2012 Update

Dozens killed in rising Iraqi violence, including at least 40 by truck bomb (New York Times, July 3, 2012) – A truck with explosives hidden in its cargo of watermelons exploded on Tuesday in Diwaniya, a largely Shiite city in southern Iraq, killing at least 40 people, including a 6-year-old boy. It was the deadliest in a string of attacks in central and southern Iraq on Tuesday, continuing a surge in violence that began last month and exacerbating a sense of fatalism in the country. … According to United Nations statistics … more Iraqis — civilians and members of the security forces alike — died from attacks in the first six months of 2012 than in the first half of 2011…. Full story

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7/23/2012 Update

Bombs kill 20 and wound 80 across Iraq (Reuters, July 22, 2012) –  Car bombs in two towns south of Baghdad and in the Iraqi city of Najaf killed a total of 20 people on Sunday and wounded 80, police and hospital sources said, in one of the most violent days of the past two weeks. … Last month at least 237 people were killed and 603 wounded in attacks, making it one of the bloodiest months since U.S. troops withdrew at the end of last year. … Full story

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7/25/2012 Update

Wave of Attacks Kills More Than 100 Across Iraq

Video

Wave of Ramadan violence hits Iraq (NBC News, July 23, 2012) – A wave of seemingly synchronized bomb and gun attacks swept Iraq on Monday. With at least 90 killed throughout the country, the death toll was the highest seen so far in 2012. NBC’s Kristy Breetzke reports. (01:29)

The Associated Press and Reuters via NBCNEWS.com
July 23, 2012

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A wave of bombings and an attack on an Iraqi military base killed more than 100 people on Monday. The death toll made it the bloodiest day of the year in the country, The Associated Press reported.

In addition to those killed, at least 268 other people were wounded by bombings and shootings in Shiite areas of Baghdad, the town of Taji to the north, the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul and many other places, hospital and police sources told Reuters. …

Full story

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8/2/2012 Update

Al-Qaida Entrenched? July is Bloodiest Month in Iraq in 2 Years

Video

File: Multiple blasts kill dozens in Iraq (NBCNEWS.com, April 19, 2012) – A string of deadly blasts explode across Iraq killing dozens and injuring more than 100 people. MSNBC.com’s Dara Brown reports. (00:38)


August 1, 2012

BAGHDAD — Militants killed 325 Iraqis in July making it the bloodiest month in two years, Health Ministry figures showed, as the country battles insurgents after the U.S. withdrawal.

The figures showed 241 civilians, 44 soldiers and 40 policemen were killed last month and almost 700 people were injured.

The worst day of violence was on July 23 when more than 100 people were killed in bomb and gun attacks across Iraq. The coordinated violence against mostly Shiite Muslim targets was claimed by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Iraq. …

The insurgents have launched at least one major assault a month since U.S. troops withdrew in December, leaving behind a country riven with political and sectarian feuding.

In June, a Reuters count showed 237 people were killed and more than 600 wounded.

July’s death toll was the highest since August 2010 when the government said 426 people were killed.

Iraqi officials say al-Qaida militants are passing in and out of Syria through the 420-mile border. …

Al-Qaida’s Iraqi wing, the Islamic State of Iraq, warned last month that it planned to revitalize its campaign, weakened under assault from U.S. troops and Sunni militias in 2007. …

Full story

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9/10/2012 Update

Death Toll in Iraq Tops 100 as Fugitive VP Gets Death Sentence

Video

Iraq counts dead after day of violence (NBCNews.com, Sept. 9, 2012) – Dozens of people have been killed in Iraq following a series of attacks in cities right across the country. There have been more than 20 explosions mostly targeted at security forces, leaving many dead, as Annabel Roberts reports. (00:57)


September 10, 2012

BAGHDAD — Six car bombs hit mainly Shiite Baghdad neighborhoods Sunday evening, killing 51 people, police said, capping a day when earlier attacks killed 58 people and fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi was sentenced to death on murder charges. …

Hashemi, a Sunni, fled to Turkey after the authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in December, a move that threatened to collapse a fragile power-sharing deal among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs at a time when U.S. troops were pulling out. …

Since the last U.S. troops left, Maliki’s government has been politically deadlocked and insurgents continue to strike, hoping to ignite the kind of sectarian tensions that drove Iraq close to civil war in 2006-2007.

Hours before the sentencing was announced, a wave of bombings and shootings killed at least 58 people across the country from the northern city of Kirkuk to southern Nassiriya where a car bomb hit a French consular office.

The most serious of the earlier bombings happened near the city of Amara, 185 miles south of the capital, when two car bombs exploded outside a Shiite shrine and a marketplace, killing at least 16 people, officials said. ..

More were killed in bombings in the towns of Kirkuk, Baquba, Samarra, Basra and Tuz Khurmato, and there was also a strike on an army base and a bombing of security guard recruits for the Iraqi North Oil Company. …

After the fall of  Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein and the rise to power of Iraq’s Shiite majority, many Iraqi Sunnis feel they have been sidelined.

Sunni politicians say Maliki is failing to live up to agreements to share government power among the parties, a charge his backers dismiss by pointing to Sunnis in key posts. …

Infighting in the religiously mixed government, and a resurgence of a local al Qaeda wing, are raising fears of a return to wider violence, especially as Iraq is struggling to contain spillover from Syria’s crisis over the border. …

Full story

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10/2/2012 Update

Iraq Suffers Deadliest Day in Nearly a Month

Residents look on as they stand at the site of a bomb blast in the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, Sunday.
Residents look on as they stand at the site of a bomb blast in the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. (Photo credit: Landov / Reuters via CNN)

By Mohammed Tawfeeq

September 30, 2012

At least 30 people were killed Sunday in a wave of bombings in Iraq, making it the country’s deadliest day in nearly a month.

The country’s majority Shiite Muslim community appeared to be the main target of the attacks, with a Shiite shrine among the targets. …

There were seven explosions in and around Baghdad, which killed 20 people, police officials in the capital said. At least 37 other people were wounded in the blasts in the city center, the Baghdad neighborhoods of al-Mashahda and al-Amel, and the nearby city of Taji.

A car bomb later exploded near a Shiite shrine in al-Madaan, killing four people. Nineteen other people were wounded, including four Iranians, police officials told CNN. Iraq is the site of many Shiite holy sites visited by pilgrims from Iran. …

And in the predominantly Shiite city of Kut, six people, including three Iraqi police officers, were killed and 10 people were wounded in a car bomb explosion at a police checkpoint. …

The violence comes just days after dozens of prisoners broke out of a jail in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit. Among those who got out Thursday were several al Qaeda members on death row, according to authorities.

The jailbreak occurred when armed men detonated two car bombs at the gates of Tasfirat jail. The explosions triggered clashes with security forces.

Ten security forces and five prisoners died. Twenty security forces and 20 prisoners were wounded.

Three weeks ago, at least 63 people were killed and roughly 200 others were wounded in a fresh wave of violence largely targeting Iraqi security forces and predominantly Shiite areas, government officials said.

The September 9 blasts and shootings across Iraq came on the heels of a particularly brutal few weeks in the Middle Eastern nation. More than 70 Iraqi security force members were killed in August, according to the Interior Ministry.

Iraq has battled political infighting among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, raising worries that the political conflict will return to the level of violence that nearly tore the country apart in 2006. …

Full story

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10/4/2012 Update

September is Deadliest Month in Iraq in More Than 2 Years

Iraqi security gather at the site of twin car bombs in the Karrada area of the capital Baghdad on July 31, 2012.
Iraqi security gather at the site of twin car bombs in the Karrada area of the capital Baghdad on July 31, 2012. (AFP / Getty Images via CNN)

By Mohammed Tawfeeq

October 1, 2012

Baghdad (CNN) — Violence in Iraq surged last month, with 365 deaths reported, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

That’s the deadliest single month since August 2010, when the toll reached 426, the ministry said.

The government said September’s fatalities included 182 civilians, 95 Iraqi soldiers and 88 Iraqi police.

The number of wounded was more than double that of the dead, according to the data, which were compiled from records at the ministries of health, defense and interior. Of the 683 people wounded, 453 were civilians, 120 soldiers and 110 police.

Although “terrorists” are excluded from the official death toll, 64 were killed in September and another 242 were detained, according to government figures. …

Full story

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10/29/2012 Update

Iraq Bus Blast Kills More Than 30 During Eid Holiday


Residents inspect the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad Oct. 27, 2012. Two blasts hit a Baghdad Shi’ite neighborhood and a bus full of Iranian pilgrims, killing at least 30 people on the second day of the Islamic Eid al Adha religious festival, police and hospital sources said. (Photo credit: Thaier al-Sudani / Reuters)


October 27, 2012

BAGHDAD — Bombings on Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad and a blast on an Iranian pilgrim bus killed more than 30 people on Saturday, marring Iraqi celebrations of the second day of the Islamic Eid al Adha religious festival.

Violence in Iraq has eased sharply, but Sunni Islamist insurgents and al-Qaida’s Iraq wing often target Shiites in an attempt to stir up the kind of sectarian tensions that dragged the country close to civil war in 2006-2007.

Two car bombs exploded on Saturday, one ripping into a restaurant in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City and killing at least 23 people, police and hospital sources said. …

Hours earlier, a roadside bomb planted near an open-air market killed seven people, including three children at a playground. Another blast killed six people when it hit a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims to a Baghdad shrine, police and hospital officials said. …

Insurgents have carried out at least one major attack a month since the last U.S. troops left in December. Iraqi officials worry Syria’s crisis is bolstering Iraqi insurgents.

The monthly death toll from attacks in Iraq doubled in September to 365, the highest number of casualties in two years, including a series of bombings targeting Shiite neighborhoods that killed more than 100 people. …

Car bombs exploded and mortars landed around the Shiite neighborhood of Shula, northwestern Baghdad, on Tuesday killing eight people and wounding 28, and another person was killed by a mortar round in Kadhimiya area.

Full story

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1/4/2013 Update

Suicide Car Bomber Kills At Least 27 Shiite Pilgrims in Iraq

 Related Iraq video

Car bombing in Baghdad kills 11 (NBC News, Dec. 18, 2012) – A deadly car bombing in Baghdad in December was part of a recent wave of violence in Iraq that killed at least 26 people across the country by late in the month. NBCNews.com’s Dara Brown reports. (00:36)


January 3, 2013

A car-bomb explosion tore through a crowd of Shiite pilgrims returning home Thursday from a religious commemoration, killing at least 27 and reinforcing fears of renewed sectarian violence, according to Iraqi officials.

The blast erupted late in the afternoon in the town of Musayyib, about 40 miles south of the Iraqi capital. It targeted worshipers returning from the Shiite holy city of Karbala following the climax of the religious commemoration known as Arbaeen. …

At least 60 people were wounded. …

Shiite pilgrims are one of the favorite targets for Sunni insurgents during Shiite religious events. …

State television earlier Thursday aired video of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki walking among the pilgrims.

Arbaeen has been a frequent target for militants since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, who banned Shiite festivals.

The latest violence followed nearly two weeks of protests against Maliki by thousands of people from the minority Sunni community in the western province of Anbar. …

Full story

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2/4/2013 Update

Suicide Bomb and Gun Attack Kills 33 in Kirkuk, Iraq


A wounded person is carried by soldiers at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kirkuk, Iraq, on Feb. 3, 2013. (Photo credit: Ako Rasheed / Reuters)

By Omar Mohammed and Mustafa Mahmoud

February 3, 2013

KIRKUK, Iraq – A suicide bomber driving a car and gunmen disguised in police uniforms killed at least 33 people in the Iraqi city Kirkuk on Sunday when they tried to storm the police headquarters.

It was the third major attack in several weeks in or near the northern city, an ethnically mixed area of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen at the heart of a dispute over oil and land between Baghdad’s central government and the autonomous Kurdistan region. …

The huge car bomb blast tore into the police directorate’s concrete facade, destroyed cars outside and left bodies under rubble at nearby government offices. Police said there were at least two gunmen.

Several armed groups are active in Kirkuk, and Sunni Islamist insurgents tied to al-Qaida often attack security forces in an attempt to undermine Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government and stoke sectarian tensions.

Last month a suicide bomber disguised as a mourner killed at least 26 at a funeral at a Shiite mosque in the nearby city of Tuz Khurmato, and days earlier a suicide bomber driving a truck killed 25 in an attack on a political party headquarters in Kirkuk, 105 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

Full story

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2/16/2013 Update

Attacks Kill 12 in Iraq’s Mosul


February 11, 2013

MOSUL, Iraq – A suicide car bomber and unidentified gunmen killed at least 12 people in the Iraqi city of Mosul on Monday, police and hospital sources said, as sectarian and ethnic tensions build ahead of elections in April.

The bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives up to a military checkpoint in Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, and detonated it, killing eight people and wounding 18, among them soldiers. …

In a separate incident in Mosul, gunmen using silenced weapons killed the bodyguard of a Kurdish member of the city’s provincial council and three others, police said.

A surge in violence since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in late 2011 is stoking fears of a return to the sectarian strife that killed tens of thousands of Iraqis in 2006 and 2007.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite Muslim, is facing mass protests by disenchanted Sunnis and is at loggerheads with ethnic Kurds who run their northern region autonomously from Baghdad.

The prospect of provincial elections is hardening the divisions as political leaders appeal to their constituencies with hostile and uncompromising rhetoric.

Full story

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2/18/2013 Update

Bombs Target Shiite Neighborhoods, Claim 21 Lives in Iraq


Iraqis inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in the Ameen neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. According to the Associated Press, a series of car bombs tore through shopping areas within minutes of each other in mainly Shiite neighborhood of the Iraqi capital on Sunday, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 100. Sunday’s attacks brought to more than 100 the number of people killed in violent attacks in Iraq since the start of the month. A total of 178 were killed in January attacks, according to an Associated Press count. (Photo credit: Khalid Mohammed / AP)

By Mohammed Tawfeeq

February 17, 2013

Baghdad (CNN) — A spate of bombs exploded in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 21 people and wounding 125 others, police said.

The blasts — six car bombs and three roadside explosions — mainly targeted outdoor markets in Shiite neighborhoods, Baghdad police said. …

Recent attacks in Shiite areas have spread fear among Iraqis that sectarian warfare may ravage the country again. …

Last month, at least 177 Iraqi civilians, soldiers and police officers were killed in attacks, according to figures compiled by Iraq’s interior, defense and health ministries. …

The total does not include those killed in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, which keeps its own death toll.

Security has deteriorated since last December, when Sunni demonstrators in provinces such as Anbar and Mosul called for an end to what they considered second-class treatment. …

Full story

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4/7/2013 Update

Suicide Bomber Kills 20, Injures Dozens at Iraqi Political Rally


This  image from AP video shows the aftermath of a suicide attack in Baqouba, some 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, April 6, 2013. (Photo: AP)

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra

April 6, 2013

A suicide bomber killed 20 people and wounded dozens on Saturday at a political rally in the Iraqi city of Baqouba, officials said.

The bomber detonated his explosives as Muthana al-Jourani, a Sunni candidate for the provincial council, was hosting lunch for supporters in a large hospitality tent pitched next to his house, councilman Sadiq al-Huseini said.

Baqouba, a mixed Sunni-Shiite city some 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, has been a focus of insurgent attacks and sectarian conflict in the decade since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Violence is expected to surge in the lead-up to Iraq’s provincial elections on April 20. …

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the police officer said the attack was the hallmark of al-Qaida militants who have used suicide bombers, car bombings and coordinated attacks to shake security in Iraq, hoping that will undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government. The hard-line Sunni extremists see Shiites and those who work with them as heretics.

A wave of deadly bombings and attacks in March prompted Iraqi officials to conclude that al-Qaida’s Iraqi branch, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, has been getting stronger. They say rising lawlessness on the Syria-Iraq frontier and cross-border cooperation with the Syrian militant group Nusra Front has improved the militants’ supply of weapons and foreign fighters.

Full story

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3/20/2013 Update

Bombs Kill At Least 50 on 10th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion


Residents gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad. A series of apparently coordinated blasts hit Shiite districts across Baghdad and south of the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (Photo credit: Mohammed Ameen / Reuters)


March 19, 2013

BAGHDAD – Car bombs and a suicide blast hit Shiite districts of Baghdad and south of Iraq’s capital on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Sunni Islamist insurgents tied to al Qaeda have stepped up attacks on Shiite targets since the start of the year in a campaign to stoke sectarian tension and undermine Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.

Tuesday’s car bombs exploded near a busy Baghdad market, close to the heavily fortified Green Zone and in other districts across the capital. A suicide bomber driving a truck attacked a police base in a Shiite town just south of the capital, police and hospital sources said. …

Another 160 people were wounded in the attacks, hospital officials said.

No group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s blasts, but Iraq’s al Qaeda wing, Islamic State of Iraq, has vowed to take back ground lost in its long war with American troops. Since the start of the year the group has carried out a string of high-profile attacks.

Gunmen and suicide bombers stormed the well-protected Justice Ministry building in central Baghdad on Thursday, killing 25 people in an attack by the al Qaeda affiliate.

A decade after U.S. and Western troops swept into Iraq to remove Saddam from power, Iraq still struggles with a stubborn insurgency, sectarian frictions and political instability among its Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions. …

Full story

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4/16/2013 Update

At Least 20 Dead, 200 Hurt in Wave of Attacks Across Iraq


Iraq was hit by a wave of attacks on Monday, April 15, 2013, including a bomb blast in Kirkuk, 155 miles north of Baghdad. (Photo credit: Ako Rasheed / Reuters)

By Kareem Raheem

April 15, 2013

BAGHDAD — Car bombs and attacks in cities across Iraq — including two blasts at a checkpoint at Baghdad’s international airport — killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 200 on Monday, police said.

The wave of attacks in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmato and other towns came just days before Iraqis vote in provincial elections that will test political stability more than a year after U.S. troops left the country. …

The most deadly attack was in Tuz Khurmato, 105 miles north of Baghdad, where four bombs targeting police patrols killed five people and wounded 67, officials said. …

Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, al Qaeda is regaining ground, especially in the western desert close to Syria’s border. Islamic State of Iraq says it has joined forces with al-Nusra Front rebels fighting in Syria. …

Full story

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4/22/2013 Update

Suicide Bomb Blast Kills 27 at Internet Cafe in Baghdad

By Kareem Raheem

April 18, 2013

A suicide bomber blew himself inside a Baghdad cafe popular with young people using the Internet, killing a least 27 and wounding dozens more in one of the worst single attacks in the Iraqi capital this year.

The late evening blast in west Baghdad came just two days before provincial elections that will be a major test of Iraq’s political stability more than a year after the last American troops left the country.

Police and witnesses said emergency workers struggled to extricate victims trapped when the blast collapsed part of the building that also housed a shopping center below the Dubai cafe which was on the third floor. …

Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion, Sunni Islamists linked to al Qaeda carry out at least one major attack a month, but insurgents have stepped up suicide attacks since the start of the year as part of a campaign to provoke confrontation between the country’s Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims.

More than 30 people were killed in a series of bombings across Iraq on Monday and more than a dozen election candidates have been killed in the run-up to the vote.

A surge in violence in Iraq has accompanied the political crisis in the Shiite premier’s government, where Shiite, Sunni and ethnic Kurds share posts in a fragile power-sharing deal that has been mostly paralyzed since U.S. troops left in December 2011.

Al Qaeda’s local wing, Islamic State of Iraq, has said it will keep up attacks and security officials say the group is gaining ground and recruits in the western desert bordering Syria, thanks in part to a boost from the flow of insurgents and funds into the neighboring country’s war.

Full story

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5/16/2013 Update

Video

Iraqis suffer a second day of deadly attacks (NBCNews.com, May 16, 2013) – A series of explosions targeting mainly Shiites across Iraq, killing about 50 in two days of violence, has raised fears about a return of the sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007. NBCNews.com’s Dara Brown reports. (00:41)

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5/21/2013 Update

Car Bomb Explosions in Baghdad Kill More Than 60

Video

Iraq bombs kill scores as violence spreads (NBC News, May 20, 2013) – At least 70 people have been killed in a wave of car bombs in Iraq, raising concerns the country may slip back into civil war. NBC’s Annabel Roberts and Richard O’Kelly report. (01:43)

By Kareem Raheem

May 20, 2013

BAGHDAD — More than 60 people were killed in a series of car bomb explosions targeting Shi’ite Muslims across Iraq on Monday, police and medics said, part of the worst sectarian violence since U.S. troops pulled out in December 2011.

The attacks brought the number killed in sectarian clashes in the past week to over 200, and tensions between Shi’ites, who now lead Iraq, and minority Sunni Muslims have reached a point where some fear a return to all-out civil conflict. …

Nine people were killed in one of two car bomb explosions in Basra, a predominantly Shi’ite city 260 miles southeast of Baghdad, police and medics said. …

Five other people were killed in a second blast inside a bus terminal in Saad Square, also in Basra, police and medics said.

In Baghdad, at least 30 people were killed in car bomb explosions in Kamaliya, Ilaam, Diyala Bridge, al-Shurta, Shula, Zaafaraniya and Sadr City – all areas with a high concentration of Shi’ites.

A parked car bomb also exploded in the mainly Shi’ite district of Shaab in northern Baghdad, killing 12 people and wounding 26 others, police and hospital sources said.

In a separate incident, police said a parked car blew up near a bus carrying Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims from Iran near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, killing five Iranian pilgrims and two Iraqis who were traveling to the Shi’ite holy city of Samarra.

In the western province of Anbar, the bodies of 14 people kidnapped on Saturday, including six policemen, were found dumped in the desert with bullet wounds to the head and chest, police and security sources said. …

Iraq’s delicate intercommunal fabric is under increasing strain from the conflict in neighboring Syria, which has drawn Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims from across the region into a proxy war. …

Full story

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5/27/2013 Update

Dozens Dead As Car Bombs Rip Baghdad


Security forces inspect the scene of a car bombing on Sadoun Street in Baghdad on Monday, May 27, 2013. A wave of attacks killed at least 57 people and wounded 168, officials said. (Photo credit: Khalid Mohammed / AP)

By Kareem Raheem

May 27, 2013

More than 70 people were killed in a wave of bombings in markets in Shi’ite neighborhoods across Baghdad on Monday in worsening sectarian violence in Iraq. …

More than a dozen blasts tore into markets and shopping areas in districts across the Iraqi capital, including twin bombs just several hundred yards apart that killed at least 13 people in the capital’s Sadr City area, police and hospital officials said. …

Tensions between the Shi’ite leadership and the Sunni Muslim minority are at their worst since U.S. troops left in December 2011, and the conflict in Syria is straining Iraq’s fragile communal balance.

More than 700 people were killed in attacks in April, according to a U.N. count, the highest monthly toll in almost five years. So far in May more than 300 have died. …

Bombings on Shi’ite and Sunni mosques, security forces and Sunni tribal leaders over a month-long surge in violence are heightening worries Iraq risks returning to the level of sectarian violence that killed thousands in 2006-2007.

Full story

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6/20/2013 Update

31 Killed, 57 Wounded in Suicide Bombing at Baghdad Mosque

By Mohammed Tawfeeq and Joe Sterling

June 18, 2013

At least 31 people were killed and 57 others were wounded when two suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque in Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.

The incident took place during noon prayers in the Habib Ibn al-Mudhaher mosque in al-Qahira, a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in the northeastern section of the Iraqi capital. The bombers, clad in suicide vests, detonated the explosives inside the mosque.

Police said that the two bombers used pistols equipped with silencers to kill several guards before they entered the mosque and blew themselves up.

This follows a string of attacks across central Iraq on Monday that killed at least a dozen people and wounded more than 50 others. That violence came on a special voting day for security forces, police and others ahead of provincial elections.

Sunni-Shiite tensions and violence have risen for months in Iraq, which was wracked by sectarian fighting during the height of the Iraq war last decade. …

Full story

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6/25/2013 Update

Car Bombs Kill 39 in Baghdad as Violence Rages

Video

Deadly start to week for Baghdad residents (NBC News, June 25, 2013) – At least 39 people were killed in 10 bombings in Baghdad on Monday. NBCNews.com’s Dara Brown reports. (00:34)

By Kareem Raheem, Suadad al-Salhy and Isabel Coles

June 24, 2013

Ten car-bomb explosions killed at least 39 people across the Iraqi capital on Monday, police and medical sources said.

In the central district of Karada, two parked car bombs went off killing at least eight people, and another two car bombs exploded simultaneously near a market in the western district of Jihad, killing eight.

Violence has been increasing in Iraq in recent months, with more than 1,000 people killed in May alone, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006-07. …

Full story

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7/13/2013 Update

Bomb Attack in Iraq Kills At Least 31

By Mustafa Mahmoud


July 12, 2013

A bomb attack on a tea house in the ethnically mixed Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed at least 31 people on Friday, police and medics said.

The blast tore through the tea shop where people had gathered after breaking their fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in a southern district of Kirkuk, 155 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

The violence is part of a sustained campaign of militant attacks since the start of the year that has prompted warnings of wider conflict in a country where ethnic Kurds and Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims have yet to find a stable power-sharing compromise. …

Kirkuk is rich in oil and lies on the front line of a dispute between the Shi’ite-led central government in Baghdad and ethnic Kurds who want the city to be incorporated into their autonomous region in the north of the country.

A referendum to determine Kirkuk’s status was supposed to be conducted in 2007, but political discord prevented it being carried out.

The city is located in a band of territory known as the “disputed areas” that run along the contested internal boundary between the Kurdistan region and Arab Iraq, stretching from Syria in the west to Iran in the east. …

Iraq’s delicate ethno-sectarian balance has come under growing strain from the conflict in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

At least 761 people were killed in militant attacks across Iraq in June, according to the United Nations, still well below the height of sectarian bloodletting in 2006-07, when the monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.

On Thursday, at least 44 people were killed in bomb and gun attacks across Iraq in the evening.

The death toll later rose to 66, and a car bomb at a Shi’ite mosque in Dujail, 30 miles north of Baghdad, overnight brought the number of people killed to 76, police said.

Full story

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7/16/2013 Update

Iraq Violence Now Deadliest in 5 Years

Attacks Monday kill nine people including a young boy, marring Ramadan holy month. More than 2,800 killed since April.

Iraq violence worst in 5 years
Civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bomb attack in Kut, Iraq on July 15, 2013. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)

By Sameer N. Yacoub

July 15, 2013

BAGHDAD — Attacks across Iraq killed nine people on Monday, including a 10-year-old boy out swimming with friends, the latest in a surge of violence rocking Iraq during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Violence in Iraq is now at its deadliest level in half a decade, raising fears the country is returning to the widespread bloodshed that pushed the country to the edge of civil war. More than 2,800 people have been killed since the start of April.

Police said Monday’s deadliest attack was a mortar barrage near a group of people trying to escape the blistering summer heat by swimming in the Tigris River near Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

Four people were killed in the mortar shelling, including the boy, and 11 others were wounded, according to police. ..

In the northern city of Kirkuk, a car bomb went off near a passing security patrol, killing a policeman and wounding 11 other people, including four civilians. …

Hours later, a suicide bomber slammed his explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint near Kirkuk, killing two soldiers, according to Lt. Gen. Mohammed Khalaf, a senior military commander in the city.

More than 140 people have been killed since Muslims in Iraq began observing Ramadan on Wednesday. …

In other violence on Monday, police said gunmen sprayed a security checkpoint with bullets just south of Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounding four others.

Monday’s attacks came a day after a wave of coordinated bombings in mostly Shiite cities and other attacks left at least 38 dead and scores wounded.

Full story

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7/22/2013 Update

At Least 46 Dead in Wave of Iraq Car Bombings


An Iraqi soldier inspects a Sunni  mosque at the site of a suicide bomber attack in the town of Wajihiya in the  ethnically and religiously diverse province of Diyala, July 20, 2013. (Photo credit: Stringer / Reuters via New York Daily News)

By Sameer N. Yacoub

July 20, 2013

BAGHDAD — A coordinated wave of seven car bombs tore through bustling commercial streets Saturday night in Shiite areas of Baghdad, part of a relentless wave of violence that killed at least 46 inside and outside the capital. …

Bombings and other attacks have now killed more than 250 people since the start of Ramadan on July 10, according to an Associated Press count. The violence is a continuation of a surge of bloodshed that has rocked Iraq for months, reviving fears of a return to the widespread sectarian killings that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. …

Saturday’s blasts began with an explosion in a busy shopping street that shook buildings in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Karrada. Police say that attack killed nine and wounded 17, and left several shops and food stalls damaged.

It was followed by similar car bombs that struck the northwestern Tobchi district, killing eight and wounding 29, and Baiyaa in western Baghdad, killing three and wounding 13, authorities said.

Another blast struck Zafaraniyah in southeastern Baghdad, killing six and wounding 15, officials said.

Two separate car bombs exploded in the New Baghdad neighborhood in the southeast, killing five people and wounding 17, authorities said.

Yet another car bomb exploded in a Shiite part of the religiously mixed western neighborhood of Shurta, a mainly Sunni area, killing four and wounded 12, authorities said. …

Hours before the Baghdad blasts, gunmen in pickup trucks shot and killed the leader of a local Sunni militia opposed to al-Qaida and two of his bodyguards near the city of Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of the Iraqi capital, according to police. …

These attacks came only a day after a deadly bombing at a Sunni mosque in Diyala killed 22 people and wounded dozens.

Full story

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7/29/2013 Update

At Least 47 Die As More Than a Dozen Car Bombs Rock Iraq


Iraqis inspect the site of a car bomb explosion in the impoverished district of Sadr City in Baghdad. It was one of just a dozen deadly explosions in Iraq on Monday, July 29, 2013. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP – Getty Images)

By Sinan Salaheddin

July 29, 2013

BAGHDAD — A wave of more than a dozen car bombings hit central and southern Iraq during morning rush hour on Monday, killing at least 47 people, officials said, in the latest coordinated attack by insurgents determined to undermine the government.

The blasts, that wounded scores more, are part of a month-long surge of attacks which are reviving fears of a return to the widespread sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Suicide attacks, car bombings and other violence have killed more than 3,000 people since April, including more than 500 since the start of July, according to an Associated Press count. …

Police said a total of 12 parked car bombs hit markets and parking lots in predominantly Shiite neighborhoods in the country’s capital, Baghdad within one hour. They say the deadliest was in the eastern Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, where two separate explosions killed nine civilians and wounded 33 others. …

Two other separate car bombs went off in the northern Hurriyah neighborhood, killing six bystanders and wounding 23 others. In the busy northern Kazimiyah neighborhood, another parked car bomb killed four civilians and wounded 12.

In the southwestern neighborhood of Bayaa, three civilians were killed and 15 wounded in another car bomb explosion. In western Baghdad in the neighborhood of Shurta, two people were killed and 14 wounded.

In the southern Abu Disheer area, four civilians were killed and 17 wounded. Another car bomb struck in the northwestern Tobchi district, killing three and wounding ten others.

Five more people were killed and 44 others wounded in the southwestern Risala neighborhood, the northern Shaab neighborhood and in the town of Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad.

The wave of bombings also extended to Iraq’s majority-Shiite south.

Back-to-back explosions by two parked car bombs in an outdoor market and near a gathering of construction workers killed seven civilians and wounded 35 others in the city of Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.

And in the oil-rich city of Basra in southern Iraq, four others were killed and five wounded when a parked car bomb ripped through a market. Basra is 340 miles southeast of Baghdad. …

The violence surged after an April crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawija that killed 44 civilians and a member of the security forces, according to United Nations estimates.

The bloodshed is linked to rising sectarian divisions between Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite as well as friction between Arabs and Kurds, dampening hopes for a return to normalcy nearly two years after U.S. forces withdrew from the country.

Full story

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8/2/2013 Update

Iraq Sees Highest Monthly Death Toll in 5 Years

Iraq casualties: The aftermath of a car bomb explosion in Basra.
The aftermath of a car bomb explosion in Basra. (Photo credit: Nabil al-Jurani / AP)

By Sameer N. Yacoub

August 1, 2013

BAGHDAD — More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in July, the highest monthly death toll in five years, the U.N. said Thursday, a grim figure that shows rapidly deteriorating security as sectarian tensions soar nearly two years after U.S. troops withdrew from the country.

Violence has been on the rise all year, but the number of attacks against civilians and security forces has spiked during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began early last month. The increased bloodshed has intensified fears that Iraq is on a path back to the widespread chaos that nearly tore the country apart in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Months of rallies by Iraq’s minority Sunnis against the Shiite-led government over what they contend is second-class treatment and the unfair use of tough anti-terrorism measures against their sect set the stage for the violence.

The killings significantly picked up after Iraqi security forces launched a heavy-handed crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawija on April 23. A ferocious backlash followed the raid, with deadly bomb attacks and sporadic gun battles between insurgents and soldiers — this time members of the Iraqi security forces rather than U.S. troops.

The U.N. Mission in Iraq said 1,057 Iraqis were killed and 2,326 wounded in July, the highest toll since June 2008 when 975 people were killed. …

The U.N. said that 928 of those killed in July were civilians and 129 were Iraqi security forces.

In all, 4,137 civilians have been killed, mostly in Baghdad, and 9,865 wounded so far this year, according to the statement. That was up from 1,684 killed in the January-July period last year.

Al-Qaida in Iraq has claimed responsibility for many of the suicide attacks and car bombings in recent days as it seeks to stoke sectarian hatred and undermine Iraq’s Shiite-led government. Much of the violence is targeting Shiites who have held the reins of power since Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime was ousted. …

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month described the scale of violence as alarming and warned that the increasingly sectarian-charged civil war raging in neighboring Syria is affecting Iraq’s own political stability.

Although Iraq is officially neutral in the conflict, U.S. officials charge that it continues to allow flights suspected of carrying Iranian arms to transit its airspace. Iraqi officials have carried out some spot checks of Iranian planes and say they’ve found nothing. Iraqi fighters are meanwhile traveling to fight in Syria, with Shiites fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces and Iraq’s al-Qaida arm, now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, siding with the mostly Sunni rebels. …

“We are witnessing the return of the dark days of the civil war that took place in 2006-2007 and the country is returning to square one where the armed groups have the upper hand in the country,” said Riyadh Hussein, a government employee from eastern Baghdad. “We are moving in a vicious circle full of political feuds and security failures. …

Full story

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8/10/2013 Update

Car Bombs Kill Nearly 80 in Iraq, Target Eid Festivities

Iraq bomb attacks: The site of a bomb blast Saturday.
Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Nasiriyah city, 233 miles south of Baghdad. (Photo cedit: Reuters)

By Kareem Raheem

August 10, 2013

BAGHDAD — A series of car bombs in mainly Shi’ite areas of Baghdad killed 57 people and wounded more than 150 Saturday, in what appeared to be coordinated attacks on people celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The 12 separate blasts targeting markets, busy shopping streets and parks where families like to mark Eid were part of a surge in sectarian violence in Iraq since the start of the year.

This has been one of the deadliest Ramadan months in years, with regular bomb attacks killing scores of people, especially in the capital. The latest bombings were similar to attacks in Baghdad on Tuesday in which 50 died.

More than 1,000 Iraqis have been killed in July, the highest monthly death toll since 2008, according to the United Nations.

The Interior Ministry has said the country faced an “open war” fuelled by Iraq’s sectarian divisions and has ramped up security in Baghdad, closing roads and sending out frequent helicopter patrols. …

Outside Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a car on a busy street in the town of Tuz Khurmato, 105 miles north of the capital, killing at least 10 people and wounding 45, medical and police sources said. …

In the town of Nassiriya, 185 miles southeast of Baghdad, twin car bombs near a park killed six people and wounded 25, police and medical sources said. …

Car bombs also hit the Shi’ite city of Kerbala, killing four and wounding 11, and targeted a Shi’ite mosque in the northern city of Kirkuk, killing one worshipper and wounding five. …

Iraqis have endured extreme violence for years, but since the since the start of 2013 the intensity of attacks on civilians has dramatically increased, reversing a trend that had seen the country grow more peaceful. In recent months insurgents have moved beyond attacking shopping districts to targeting youths playing soccer and people watching matches on television at the Baghdad cafes which have dared to stay open. …

Full story

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8/12/2013 Update

Attacks Kill Dozens in Latest Iraq Violence

Iraq violence: People inspect the aftermath of a car bomb attack in Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 11, 2013.
People inspect the aftermath of a car bomb attack in Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 11, 2013. (Photo credit: AP)

By Sameer N. Yacoub

August 12, 2013

BAGHDAD — Three blasts including a suicide bomb in a cafe killed 26 people in central and western Iraq on Monday evening, officials said. They were the latest attacks in a months-long surge of violence.

In the deadliest of the blasts, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt inside a cafe in Balad, 60 miles north of Baghdad, killing 15 people and wounding another 30, police said. Militants frequently attack Shiite civilian targets to undermine the government.

About two hours later, six people were killed and 17 others wounded in a bomb explosion near a restaurant in the city of Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Late at night, a suicide car bomber drove his vehicle into an army checkpoint near the city of Fallujah, killing five soldiers, said police officials. Fallujah, a former al-Qaida stronghold, is 40 miles west of Baghdad. …

The latest surge in violence has raised fears that Iraq could be returning to widespread sectarian killings similar to those that brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007. …

Full story

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8/14/2013 Update

Bombs Targeting Playground, Cafe, School Kill 22 in Iraq


A man inspects the damage at a cafe in Balad on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, following a suicide bombing Monday evening. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)

By Sylvia Westall

August 13, 2013

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A series of bomb attacks killed at least 22 people across Iraq on Monday, part of the country’s worst wave of violence in around five years.

At least 16 people died and 41 others were injured when a suicide bomber targeted a crowded cafe in Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Two roadside bombs – one planted near a playground and another near a school – also killed six people and wounded dozens, some of them children, in the town of Muqdadiya, 50 miles northeast of the capital.

Those blasts underlined a shift in tactics by suspected Islamist militants, who are increasingly targeting not only military checkpoints and marketplaces, but also cafes and recreational areas used by families and children. …

Full story

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8/19/2013 Update

Sectarian Attacks Return With a Roar to Iraq, Rattling a Capital Already on Edge


The aftermath of a car-bomb attack in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad last month. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim/Associated Press)

By Tim Arango

August 18, 2013

Excerpts

BAGHDAD — The black-masked soldier stood at the army checkpoint examining the identification cards of each passenger, denying entry to anyone who did not live in the Sunni district of Ameriya. One resident later said entering his neighborhood now felt like crossing the border into a different country. …

Across the country, the sectarianism that almost tore Iraq apart after the American-led invasion in 2003 is surging back. The carnage has grown so bloody, with the highest death toll in five years, that truck drivers insist on working in pairs — one Sunni, one Shiite — because they fear being attacked for their sect. Iraqis are numb to the years of violence, yet always calculating the odds as they move through the routine of the day, commuting to work, shopping for food, wondering if death is around the corner. …

The drastic surge in violence — mainly car bombs planted by Al Qaeda’s Iraq affiliate against the Shiite majority, and the security sweeps in majority-Sunni neighborhoods that follow — has lent a new sense of Balkanization to this city. …

For Iraqis, the violence feels permanent, their country’s perpetual decline, inevitable. The space between ordinary citizens and their political leaders, garrisoned in the increasingly fortified Green Zone, where the government has positioned new tanks and soldiers and sought to make entry even more restricted, has never felt wider.

Iraqis long ago lost confidence in the ability of their security forces, trained by the Americans at a cost of billions of dollars, to protect them. …

This violence is real, and it appears at least partly driven by events beyond the borders of Iraq, in Syria, where a civil war is raging. The United Nations recently warned that the sectarian battlefields of Syria and Iraq are “merging,” as the border between the two countries has become a revolving door for Sunni extremists.

At the same time, Shiite militiamen from Iraq, supported by Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, head over to support the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, while also reasserting themselves on the streets of Baghdad. …

Read the full story at the New York Times

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8/26/2013 Update

Bloody Sunday: Insurgent Attacks in Iraq Kill At Least 41

Video

Iraq has very violent Sunday (NBC Nightly News, Aug. 25, 2013) – The attacks are the latest in a month-long uptick in violence. Insurgents may be trying to push the nation to the brink of civil war. NBC’s Carl Quintanilla reports. (00:22)

By Sinan Salaheddin

August 26, 2013

BAGHDAD — Insurgents bent on destabilizing Iraq killed at least 41 people in numerous attacks scattered around the country on Sunday, striking targets as varied as a coffee shop, a wedding party convoy and a carload of off-duty soldiers.

The attacks are part of a months-long wave of killing that is the country’s worst spate of bloodshed since 2008. …

One of the day’s boldest attacks happened near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where militants set up a fake security checkpoint, captured five soldiers and shot them dead, a police officer said. The soldiers were dressed in civilian clothes and returning to base in a taxi. …

More  than 3,000 people have been killed in violence during the past few months, raising fears the country could see an even deadlier, sectarian round of bloodshed similar to what brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007. …

In the town of Madain, about 15 miles southeast of Baghdad, a car bomb explosion killed four and wounded 12, another police officer said. Authorities reported that another bomb there struck a group of young people playing soccer, killing four and wounding 13.

Multiple blasts hit the city of Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. …

In the capital Baghdad, a car bomb at a market in the southeastern and largely Shiite neighborhood of al-Ameen killed three civilians and wounded 13 others, authorities said. Three other civilians were killed and six wounded when a bomb attached to a car exploded while passing through the capital’s eastern Zayona neighborhood, police said. Another bomb went off in a commercial area in the western Ghazaliya area, killing two people and wounding seven others, officials said. Later in the evening, police said a bomb tore through a coffee shop, killing three and wounding 16 others in Baghdad’s northern Shaab neighborhood. …

Full story

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8/29/2013 Update

At Least 86 Dead, 263 Hurt in Bombings and Other Attacks Across Iraqi Capital

Video

Bombings in Iraq launch new fears of civil war (NBC “Today,” Aug. 28, 2013) – A series of bombings tore through Baghdad, killing at least 58. The blasts targeted residents out shopping and on their way to work in Shiite Muslim areas in and around the Iraqi Capital. (00:25)

By Raheem Salman and Yara Bayoumy

August 28, 2013

BAGHDAD, Iraq — At least 86 people were killed and 263 wounded in a series of bombings and other attacks across Baghdad on Wednesday, police and medical sources said, extending the worst wave of sectarian bloodshed in Iraq for at least five years. …

More than two years of civil war in neighboring Syria have aggravated deep-rooted sectarian divisions in Iraq, fraying the country’s uneasy coalition of Shiite Muslim, Sunni Muslim and Kurdish factions.

In Sadr City, an impoverished Shi’ite district in Baghdad’s northeast, two car bombs killed seven people. …

Another car bomb killed seven people and wounded 23 in Jisr Diyala in southeastern Baghdad, police and medics said. …

After years of reduced violence, the intensity of attacks has dramatically risen since the start of 2013. Bombings have often targeted cafes and other places where families gather, as well as the usual military facilities  and checkpoints.

Full story

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8/31/2013 Update

Iraq Besieged by Rising Bloodshed and Brutality


Khalid Mohammed / AP

By Adam Schreck

August 30, 2013

BAGHDAD — The mob strung up the suspected terrorist’s shirtless body by the feet and set it ablaze on a street on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital, a tire placed underneath to fuel the flames. In grainy footage of the immolation this week, police appeared to do little to stop the vigilantes’ street justice.

In another video issued in recent days, jihadi militants who took over a major highway in western Iraq stop three Syrian truck drivers, interrogate them, then gun them down, believing them to be members of the Alawite sect.

The two incidents, confirmed by police, illustrate in stark terms the increasing brutality of the unrest gripping Iraq, fueling complaints that security forces are unable to contain it.

Violence inside Iraq has accelerated in recent months to levels not seen since 2008, with more than 4,000 people killed since the start of April. The growing unrest — marked by frequent coordinated car bombings and other attacks blamed mostly on al-Qaida’s local branch targeting police, the military and often Shiite Muslim areas — is intensifying fears Iraq is heading back toward the widespread Sunni-Shiite sectarian killing that peaked in 2006 and 2007.

Yet another barrage of al-Qaida-claimed explosions struck in and around Baghdad on Wednesday, when attacks killed at least 82 and wounded more than 200.

The mob’s immolation of a man believed to be a bomber in Baghdad on that day suggests that at least some Iraqis have had enough and are starting to take matters into their own hands.

In grainy footage taken by cell phone and posted online, dozens of people can be seen watching the man’s body burn, many of them filming it with mobile phones. They far outnumber the police, who appear to be trying to control the crowd but do nothing to stop the burning itself.

Saad Maan Ibrahim, an Interior Ministry spokesman, confirmed that the incident shown in the video happened Wednesday in Jisr Diyala, a largely Shiite area on the edges of Baghdad. Authorities previously told The Associated Press that two parked car bombs struck the neighborhood that morning, killing eight and wounding nearly two dozen.

Two police officials said the man in the video was seen getting out of a car that later exploded. One bomb had already gone off, and onlookers grew suspicious when he parked his car and then ran away after being spotted, one of the officers said. An angry mob caught up with him beat him to death, then set his body alight, they said. …

The security forces’ credibility took a sharp hit in July when al-Qaida carried out highly coordinated, military-style assaults on two prisons near Baghdad, including the infamous Abu Ghraib. Those raids set free more than 500 inmates, many of them members of the terrorist group. An Interpol alert warned that the escapes posed “a major threat to global security.”

In another show of Iraq’s increasing lawlessness, al-Qaida-linked militants released a propaganda video online showing their fighters in control of a major desert highway in the western part of the country.

In the video, a thick-bearded gunman flags down passing trucks and quizzes three Syrian drivers as several other armed militants line the highway. The drivers insist they are Sunni Muslims, so the gunman questions them on how to pray — since there are slight differences between how Sunnis and Shiites perform daily prayers. Subtitles on the video claim the men are Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Syrian President Bashar Assad belongs.

After the men fail to give the right answers, they are led to the middle of the highway and shot dead in the back as the militants shout “God is great.” The killers encountered no resistance during the ambush, which lasted for several minutes. …

American and other Western officials, meanwhile, are growing increasingly concerned about rising insecurity inside Iraq. Attacks like those on the Syrian truckers only reinforce those fears.

“The attack suggests (al-Qaida) has more influence or control in areas of Iraq than the government would freely admit,” said Charles Lister, an analyst at IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center.

Full story

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9/4/2013 Update

Car Bombs Across Iraqi Capital Kill Nearly 60 People


A car demolished by bombings near Baghdad on Sept. 3, 2013.
(Photo credit: Reuters)

By Kareem Raheem

September 3, 2013

BAGHDAD — A series of car bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, killing nearly 60 people in predominantly Shi’ite districts, police and medics said. …

Tuesday’s deadliest single blast took place in Baghdad’s northern Talbiya neighborhood, where a car bomb in a busy street killed nine people.

In the Hussainiya district on the northern outskirts of the capital, two car bombs exploded in quick succession, killing ten. …

About 800 Iraqis were killed in August, according to the United Nations, with more than a third of the deadly attacks happening in Baghdad.

The bloodshed, 18 months after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, has stirred concerns about a return to the sectarian slaughter of 2006-07, when the monthly death toll sometimes topped 3,000.

Earlier on Tuesday, gunmen stormed the house of a Sunni, pro-government militia member in southern Baghdad and beheaded him, along with his wife and three children, police and medics said.

Separately, four unidentified bodies were found in different places in Baghdad. All of the victims had been handcuffed, blindfolded and killed.

Full story

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9/22/2013 Update

Blasts Kill At Least 65 in Baghdad Shiite Stronghold


People inspect the site of a double suicide bomb attack in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.
(Photo credit: Hadi Mizban / AP)

By Kareem Raheem and Isabel Coles

September 21, 2013

BAGHDAD — At least 65 people were killed and 120 wounded in a triple bombing that targeted a tent filled with mourners in Baghdad’s Shiite Muslim stronghold of Sadr City on Saturday, police and medical sources said.

Police said a car bomb went off near the tent where a funeral was being held, a suicide bomber driving a car then blew himself up, and a third explosion followed as police, ambulances and firefighters were gathering at the scene. …

In a separate incident, at least eight people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a busy street in the predominantly Shi’ite Ur district of northern Baghdad, police said.

Iraq’s delicate sectarian balance has come under growing strain from the civil war in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed by Shiite Iran.

Both Sunnis and Shi’ites have crossed into Syria from Iraq to fight on opposite sides of the conflict.

Al-Qaida’s Iraqi and Syrian branches merged earlier this year to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on both sides of the border. …

Full story

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10/1/2013 Update

Al-Qaida Claims Iraq Bombs that Killed 55


Baghdad municipality workers clean while citizens inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (Photo credit: Khalid Mohammed / AP)


October 1, 2013

BAGHDAD — Al-Qaida’s local franchise in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a string of car bombings in Baghdad that killed 55 people.

In a statement posted late Monday hours after the bombings that mostly targeted Shiite neighborhoods, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant says the attacks were in retaliation to the “arrests, torturing and targeting of Sunnis” by the Shiite-led government.

Monday’s coordinated attacks were the latest in a months-long surge of violence that brings Iraq closer to the level of sectarian bloodshed it underwent in 2006-2007. More than 4,500 people have been killed since April. …

Full story

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10/6/2013 Update

String of Attacks in Iraq Kills Nearly 50 People


People inspect a damaged cafe following a suicide bombing, Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, Aug. 13, 2013. (Photo credit: Reuters via Voice of America)

By Adam Schreck and Qassim Abdul-Zahra

October 5, 2013

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber blew himself up among a crowd of Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and another detonated his explosives inside a café north of the capital, the deadliest of several attacks across Iraq on Saturday that killed at least 48 people.

The killings, which also included attacks on journalists and anti-extremist Sunni fighters, are part of the deadliest surge in violence to hit Iraq in five years. …

The pilgrims were targeted late Saturday as they passed through the largely Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah en route to a prominent shrine in the nearby Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, according to police officials.

At least 24 people, including four policemen manning the checkpoint, were killed and 50 others were wounded, the officials said.

Around the same time, another suicide bomber blew himself up in a café in the town of Balad, a largely Shiite town surrounded by Sunni communities about 80 kilometers 50 miles north of Baghdad. Balad Mayor Malik Lefta said at least 13 people were killed and 22 were wounded in that attack. …

A hidden bomb also exploded inside a café in the religiously mixed Baghdad neighborhood of Baiyaa, killing three people and wounding 13, police said. …

Earlier in the day, gunmen shot dead a reporter and a cameraman for the privately owned al-Sharqiya TV channel while they were working on a report in the northern city of Mosul, according to police. …

Iraq was the deadliest country in the world for journalists between 2003 and 2008. …

At least six members of Sunni militias opposed to al-Qaida were also killed Saturday. The militiamen were members of the Sahwa, which joined U.S. troops in the fight against al-Qaida at the height of Iraq war. …

A bomb also hit a checkpoint manned by Sahwa members in the town of Youssifiyah, south of the Iraqi capital, killing three of the fighters and wounding five other people, police said. …

Full story

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10/28/2013 Update

More Than 50 Dead As 10 Car Bomb Blasts Rip Across Baghdad Province

By Kareem Raheem and Ahmed Rasheed

October 27, 2013

BAGHDAD — A dozen bombings in Iraq killed 55 people on Sunday as the prime minister prepares to travel to Washington to seek President Barack Obama’s help in confronting a wave of sectarian violence fuelled by Syria’s civil war.

Killings, mostly blamed by the Shi’ite-led government on Sunni Islamists from al Qaeda, are running at daily rates not seen in five years and Nuri  al-Maliki will ask Obama on Friday to speed up promised deliveries of drones and F-16 jets that he believes can help staunch the long desert border with Syria. …

On Sunday, police reported 11 vehicles blowing up in mainly Shi’ite Muslim areas in and around Baghdad, killing 41 people in an apparently coordinated series of explosions typical of al Qaeda. A further 14 people were killed when a suicide bomber drove up to a line of soldiers waiting to collect their pay from a bank in the northern city of Mosul and detonated his car. …

In the worst of the attacks in the Baghdad area, two car bombs exploded moments apart near a busy market in the town of Nahrawan, south of the capital, killing seven. …

Violence between the Sunni minority, long dominant in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and before, and majority Shi’ites empowered through elections promoted by Washington peaked four years after the U.S. invasion; the monitoring group Iraq Body Count recorded over 29,000 civilian deaths in 2006 and 25,000 in 2007.

Having steadied to a monthly average of 300 to 400 deaths from 2009 to 2012, tolls have close to doubled since violence in April, when government forces stormed a camp where Sunnis were protesting at what they see as their political marginalization.

Full story

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11/15/2013 Update

At Least 30 Dead After Suicide Bombing During Muslim Ritual in Iraq

By Raheem Salman and Rania El Gamal

November 14, 2013

A suicide bomber blew himself up during a Shiite Muslim religious ritual in the  eastern Iraqi city of al-Sadiya on Thursday, killing at least 30 people and  wounding 67, a senior local official and police said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came on the final day of Ashura, a 10-day holy ritual when Shiites commemorate Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

The man detonated an explosives belt in a crowd of pilgrims, who were mainly Shiite Kurds, the sources said. Most of the wounded pilgrims were taken to hospitals in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region.

Shiites are considered apostates by hardline Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining momentum in Iraq this year. On Wednesday at least 19 people were killed in similar bomb attacks targeting Iraqi police and pilgrims. …

Full story

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11/17/2013 Update

Separate Attacks Across Iraq Kill 20

By Sinan Salaheddin

November 17, 2013

BAGHDAD — Attacks across Iraq killed at least 20 people Sunday, officials said, as gunmen attacked a militia leader and bombs targeted police officers and civilians.

In the capital’s eastern New Baghdad neighborhood, a parked car bomb missed a police patrol but killed three civilians and wounded 10, a police officer said. Another police officer said a car bombing in Baghdad’s eastern Sadr City neighborhood killed one person and wounded 11.

In the Baghdad’s southwestern suburb of Radwaniyah, a bomb went off in a commercial area, killing three civilians and wounding 10, authorities said. In the town of Tarmiyah, about 30 miles north of Baghdad, a bomb exploded near soldiers on patrol, killing two and wounding five, officials said.

At dawn Sunday, militants attacked a local leader of pro-government, anti-al-Qaida Sunni militia in his house in the town of Madain, 14 miles south of Baghdad, killing his brother and wounding one guard, authorities said. Two militants were killed in the clashes and two others were wounded, police said. …

In Baghdad’s southern Dora neighborhood, a car bomb exploded in a vegetable market, killing three civilians and wounding 12, a police officer said. A bomb exploded inside a car showroom in Baghdad’s eastern suburbs, killing four and wounding 11, police said.

Three other civilians were killed and 11 wounded when a car bomb exploded near liquor stores in Baghdad’s central Karrada area, police said. …

Violence has escalated in Iraq in recent months, with the pace of killing reaching levels unseen since 2008. Today’s attacks bring the death toll across the country this month to 67, according to an Associated Press count. More than 5,500 people have been killed since April, according to United Nations figures.

Full story

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11/30/2013 Update

18 Abducted Men Found Executed Near Baghdad


November 29, 2013

BAGHDAD — Men dressed as Iraqi soldiers abducted 18 Sunnis, whose bullet-ridden corpses turned up in farmland just south of Baghdad, authorities said Friday, a grim reminder of the worst days of sectarian killings that plagued the country after the U.S. invasion.

Police said officers later discovered the beheaded corpses of three men in Baghdad’s eastern suburbs, their hands tied behind their backs. The apparently targeted killings come after similar killings earlier this week, raising fears that the country, already embroiled in months of rising violence, could see the return of Shiite and Sunni Muslim death squads roaming the streets. …

Authorities found the bodies early Friday in farmland near the Sunni town of Mishahda, some 20 miles north of Baghdad. Gunmen in four cars abducted the men, who included two army officers and Mishahda’s mayor, from their homes late Thursday. …

The killings come after police officers found the bodies of 13 men Wednesday in two locations around Baghdad, all killed by what appeared to be close-range gunshots. Some had their hands and feet tied.

Since late December, Iraq’s minority Sunnis have been protesting what they perceive as discrimination and tough anti-terrorism measures against them by the Shiite-led government. The Sunni attacks followed a government crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawija in which 44 civilians and one member of the security forces were killed, according to U.N. estimates. More than 5,500 people have been killed since the crackdown.

Now some call for Shiites to create armed “popular committees,” attached in some form to the regular security forces. The idea raises the specter of some of Iraq’s darkest years following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led regime, paving the way for long-repressed majority Shiites to seize power. …

Meanwhile Friday, violence raged on elsewhere in Iraq. A bomb exploded inside a sheep market in Baghdad’s southeastern suburb of Nahrawan, killing three and wounding six, police said. In the western Abu Ghraib suburb, a roadside bomb killed one and wounded five, authorities said. Also, police said gunmen killed a government employee in a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad. …

Full story

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2014 Updates

Iraq Continues Post-Saddam Slide to Civil War — Part 2

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Related reports

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Related: Quick Overview of America’s March of Folly in Iraq

Video

The War in Iraq (MSNBC “Up with Chris Hays,” Dec. 31, 2011) – A look back at the war in Iraq as the Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq ends today. (06:05)

Unintended But Foreseeable Consequences of the Iraq War (Aug. 30, 2008)

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Related reports on this site

Image: Body of militia member
A man kisses the body of a government-backed Sunni militia member laid on the ground of a hospital yard in the town of Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad, on Sunday, July 18, 2010 after a deadly blast. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Iraq Continues Post-Saddam Slide to Civil War — Part 2 (Jan. 2014-present)

Bomb Attacks Targeting Iraqi Police Continue in Baghdad (Oct. 12, 2011)

Coordinated Bombings in Baghdad Target Iraqi Police (Oct. 11, 2011)

Insurgents Target Iraqi Soldiers, Police in Spate of Attacks (Sept. 14, 2011)

Bloody Mayhem Across Iraq (Aug. 15, 2011)

Baghdad Area Bombings Continue (July 5, 2011)

Deadly Blasts Shatter Calm in Baghdad (June 23, 2011)

Spate of Bombings in Baghdad (April 18, 2011)

Iraq: Many Dead in Tikrit (March 29, 2011)

Iraq: Slaughter in Samarra (Feb. 12, 2011)

Iraq Violence Persists (Feb. 9, 2011)

Wholesale Slaughter in Iraq (Jan. 18, 2011)

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4 Responses to “Iraq Continues Post-Saddam Slide to Sectarian Civil War — Part 1”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Baghdad Area Bombings Continue Says:

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