Several hundred hurt by 16 blasts; ‘pieces of cars, falling from the sky,’ survivor says
An Iraqi soldier stands next to wreckage from one of the car bombs that blew up Tuesday evening in Baghdad. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)
The Associated Press and Reuters via MSNBC.com
Nov. 2, 2010
BAGHDAD — Sixteen bombs went off across Iraq’s capital on Tuesday, many at restaurants and coffee shops full of civilians. The death toll climbed to 76 in the first hours following the blasts, but that number could keep rising as rescuers comb through the debris.
“Ten cars exploded with bombs inside them. There were also four roadside bombs and two sticky bombs,” said Baghdad security spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi.
The blasts happened in at least 10 neighborhoods. Nearly 300 people were hurt, officials said. …
The rapid-fire attacks called into question whether Iraqi security forces can protect the capital. They also came just two days after gunmen in Baghdad held a Christian congregation hostage in a siege that ended with 58 people dead. …
Iraq remains in political limbo almost eight months after an inconclusive vote, raising fears that insurgents might exploit tension to try and reignite sectarian war. Tuesday’s attack was the third major assault in Iraq since Friday.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the coordination of the blasts, the complexity of the operation and the predominantly Shiite targets point to al-Qaida-linked Sunni insurgents. Iraq has been plagued by conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslim sects since the 2003 collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, which was dominated by the minority Sunnis. It was supplanted by a Shiite-dominated government that remains in power until today. …
The surge in violence is raising fresh concerns about the planned pullout of American troops next year. The U.S. now has just under 50,000 troops in Iraq, down from a wartime high of 170,000.
Death toll rises in Baghdad blasts (NBC Nightly News, Nov. 2, 2010) – Sixteen bombs went off across Iraq’s capital on Tuesday, killing at least 76 people and injuring hundreds more. NBC’s Brian Williams reports. (00:24)
A State Department audit concluded Tuesday that the Obama administration could be overstating what U.S. diplomats can do to contain Iraq’s ethnic and sectarian tensions without U.S. military forces.
The auditors also questioned whether American diplomats who remain behind will be adequately protected against insurgent violence, and their report faulted Washington for its planning of the transition from a U.S. military-led mission in Iraq to one run by American civilians in 2011.
In its report, the State Department’s office of inspector general said stability in Iraq may be years away. It warned that the failure of Iraqi political leaders to form a unity government has interfered with the “urgent task” of planning for Washington’s post-2011 diplomatic role.
Stephen Biddle, an Iraq watcher at the Council on Foreign Relations, said it will be difficult for U.S. diplomats to keep a lid on Sunni-Shiite and Arab-Kurd rivalries in the absence of a sizable American military presence.
Iraq has been plagued by conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslim sects since the 2003 collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, which was dominated by the minority Sunnis. It was supplanted by a Shiite-dominated government that remains in power until today.
Related reports on this site
Iraqis gather as a bulldozer removes debris after a car bomb attack in Baghdad’s Kazimiyah neighborhood, Iraq, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Two car bombs exploded during the morning rush hour killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)
Catholic Hostages Killed in Iraq (Oct. 31, 2010)
Muqtada al-Sadr Rises to Power (Oct. 1, 2010)
Surge in Iraq Green Zone Attacks (Sept. 29, 2010)
Twin Blasts Rip Through Baghdad (Sept. 19, 2010)
Colossal Taxpayer Waste in Iraq (Aug. 29, 2010)
Wave of Bombings Across Iraq (Aug. 26, 2010)
Horrific Baghdad Bombing (Aug. 18, 2010)
Iraq War: ‘Ten More Years’ (Aug. 12, 2010)
Iraq Civilian Deaths at 2-Year High (Aug. 1, 2010)
Iraq Security Remains Fragile (July 22, 2010)
Mayhem in Baghdad (July 18, 2010)
Iraq Election Violence Continues (June 20, 2010)
Explosion Rocks Iraqi Market (May 21, 2010)
‘Dark Days Soaked With Blood’ (May 14, 2010)
Cascade of Violence in Iraq (May 10, 2010)
Iraq Election Turmoil (April 26, 2010)
Bloody Easter in Baghdad (April 4, 2010)
Iraq Election Violence (March 8, 2010)
Iraq Mass Casualty Bombing (Feb. 1, 2010)
Triple Bombing Rocks Baghdad (Jan. 25, 2010)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 2, 2009
Civilians inspect a damaged car after a car bomb went of in the western city of Ramadi,70 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. Two people — including a policeman — were killed when twin car bombs exploded minutes apart in the visitors’ parking lot of Ramadi’s Traffic Police Directorate. (Photo credit: Stringer / AP)
One year ago today, I reported that of the 364 Iraqis killed in October 2009, 155 died in two nearly simultaneous bombs targeting government buildings on Oct. 25, 2009 in downtown Baghdad — the worst attack in more than two years. Meanwhile, there were more Taliban bombings in retaliation as Pakistan continued its offensive in South Waziristan, a tribal region adjoining Afghanistan, where al-Qaida terrorists are believed to have hideouts.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — November 2, 2008
Two years ago today, on the 15th day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, in my capacity as research director of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, I published two articles in the St. Cloud Times in which I provided an analysis of my primary concerns regarding the personality-based limitations of prospective Obama and McCain presidencies.
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