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4 Blasts Rip Through Western Baghdad, Killing 40

American civilian killed in separate attack

Car Bomb in Baghdad
Four car bombs exploded in Baghdad on Thursday, June 23, 2011 killing at least 40 people and wounding nearly 100. (Photo: credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye / AFP — Getty Images)

By Rebecca Santana

June 23, 2011

BAGHDAD — Four bombs ripped through Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad Thursday evening, killing at least 40 people in the worst violence the capital has seen in months, Iraqi officials said.

An American civilian aid specialist working to improve education in Iraq was killed in a separate attack.

The violence underscored the fragile nature of the security gains in Iraq at a time when American forces are preparing to withdraw by the end of this year and the challenges facing the State Department personnel and American contractors who would continue on after the U.S. military is gone.

The first three bombs went off in quick succession in a southwestern Baghdad neighborhood shortly after 7 p.m. One targeted a Shiite mosque, another exploded just outside a popular market, while the third went off inside the market where people were doing their evening shopping ahead of the Muslim weekend, Iraqi police officials said.

The officials said 34 people died and 82 others were injured in the three blasts. …

It was the worst attack in the capital since a parked car bomb exploded near a mourning tent in a northern Baghdad neighborhood in January, killing 48 people.

The American civilian killed earlier Thursday was Dr. Stephen Everhart, said a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland.

“Dr. Everhart was an American citizen who was working in Iraq for an implementing partner of the United States Agency for International Development’s Mission in Iraq. He was killed while working on a project to introduce a new business curriculum to a Baghdad university in a program supported by the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education,” she said in a statement. …

Everhart worked at the American University in Cairo, where he was associate dean of the Business School and a finance professor. Before joining AUC, he worked extensively with the World Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. government agency designed to help businesses break into developing markets. …

The State Department gave no information about how he was killed, but an Iraqi police official said the American contractors were visiting a satellite office of Mustansiriyah University in eastern Baghdad when they were hit by a roadside bomb. …

Shiite militias who operate in the nearby neighborhood of Sadr City have stepped up attacks against the U.S. military in recent months and threatened violence against other American targets. Nine American soldiers have been killed in Iraq so far this month, one of the highest death tolls in two years. …

Shiite militias are trying to claim they are driving the U.S. military from Iraq and make the U.S. think twice before agreeing to have U.S. troops stay in the country past the Dec. 31 date by which they’re slated to go home. …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Image: Site of a bomb attack in Hillah, Iraq.
Investigators inspect the site of a bomb attack in Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad, on Thursday, May 5, 2011. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Spate of Bombings in Baghdad (April 18, 2011)

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

Another War Like Iraq ‘Nuts’ (Feb. 26, 2011)

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

Iraq Violence Persists (Feb. 9, 2011)

Wholesale Slaughter in Iraq (Jan. 18, 2011)



60 die as bomber destroys Afghan medical center (Reuters and AP via, June 25, 2011) — A sport utility vehicle packed with explosives blew up outside of a clinic in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing at least 60 people and leveling the 10-bed medical center, Afghan authorities said. The massive blast in the mountainous Azra district of Logar province, some 25 miles east of Kabul, also wounded at least 120, the Afghan Health Ministry said. … Full story


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — June 23, 2010

Obama Sacks AfPak Commander

Image: Barack Obama, David Petraeus
President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus walk to the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 to make a statement after meeting with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was ousted as commander of forces in Afghanistan. Patraeus was nominated to assume McChrystal’s command. (Photo credit: Charles Dharapak / AP)

One year ago today, I reported that President Barack Obama relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of command in the Afghanistan war, naming Gen. David Petraeus as his replacement.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — June 23, 2009

Major Sean Birchall (Photo: British Ministry of Defence)
Maj. Sean Birchall, 33, born in Vanderbijl Park, South Africa, died June 19, 2009 of wounds sustained in an IED attack on his armored vehicle while on patrol in Basharan, near Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, British Army. (Photo: UK Ministry of Defense)

OIF / OEF — U.S. Military Deaths

Two years ago today, on June 23, 2009, I provided my weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases.

6 Responses to “Deadly Blasts Shatter Calm in Baghdad”
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