First Published: 2013-01-22

 

New wave of attacks kills many as Iraq plunges into crisis

 

Series of attacks in, around Baghdad, in northern Iraq kill up to 25 people, wound dozens of others.

 

Middle East Online

By Ali al-Saadi - BAGHDAD

Iraq political crisis undermines fragile security

A wave of attacks in and around Baghdad and in northern Iraq killed 25 people and wounded dozens more on Tuesday, shattering a relative calm after a spate of deadly violence last week.

The unrest comes amid a political crisis that has pitted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against several of his erstwhile government partners and with more than four weeks of anti-government protests in Sunni majority areas hardening opposition against the Shiite leader's rule.

Tuesday's bloodiest blasts struck an army checkpoint south of Baghdad, a military base north of the capital, and a mostly Shiite neighbourhood in the city's north, security and medical officials said.

No group claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants often launch attacks in a bid to destabilise the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.

"One of my friends was hurt in his head, and another was seriously wounded in his chest," said 41-year-old mechanic Ali Jassim at the site of the Baghdad blast, before angrily shouting: "The politicians are busy with keeping their posts, and we are suffering from these explosions!"

In the bloodiest attack, six people were killed when a car bomb was detonated near an army camp in the town of Taji, 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of Baghdad, an army officer and a medical official said.

At least 20 other people were wounded.

South of the capital in the town of Mahmudiyah, at least five people were killed and 14 wounded by a suicide car bomb, officials said.

Mahmudiyah lies within a confessionally mixed region known as the "Triangle of Death" because of the frequency of attacks during the worst of Iraq's insurgency in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion.

A car bomb near a market in the north Baghdad neighbourhood of Shuala killed five people and wounded 12, while gunmen killed five officials who were transporting salaries between oil refineries near the town of Baiji.

Pieces of metal were littered across the scene of the Baghdad attack, with several cars badly damaged or completely burned, a journalist said.

The insurgents who carried out the latter attack fled, and the funds were recovered, officials said.

Meanwhile, seven different shootings and bombings in Diyala, Nineveh and Salaheddin provinces north of Baghdad left four people dead and 12 others wounded.

The violence broke four days of relative calm in Iraq following a spate of attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda's front group that left at least 88 people dead on January 15-17, according to a tally.

The militant group is widely seen as weaker than during the peak of Iraq's sectarian bloodshed from 2006 to 2008, but is still capable of carrying out mass-casualty attacks on a regular basis.

The latest wave of violence meant the overall death toll from bloodshed in Iraq this month has already surpassed that of any of the previous three months, according to a tally based on reports from security and medical officials.

Iraq's political crisis has pitted Maliki against several of his ministers who have accused him of authoritarianism and sectarianism just months ahead of provincial elections.

Weeks of anti-government rallies in Sunni Arab majority areas, supported by parties that are members of Maliki's unity cabinet, have increasingly called for the premier to quit.

The violence and political troubles come three months before provincial elections, Iraq's first polls in three years and a key barometer to gauge the popularity of Maliki and his rivals.

Attacks in Iraq are down from their peak in 2006-2007, but they are still common across the country.

 

Macron, Le Pen gird for final French election duel

US fires opening shots in confrontation with Iran

Syria ‘ready’ to halt fire for chemical attack probe

Iran's historically unpredictable elections

LafargeHolcim CEO stepping down over Syria probe

Iran election may be pointer to race for supreme leader

US-backed forces enter key IS-held Syria town Tabqa

Israel probe clears officer who shot teen attackers

Israel charges teenager for bomb threats against Jewish institutions

Egypt sentences 20 to death over 2013 police killings

Erdogan accuses researcher of 'inciting assassination'

Qatar Airways CEO accuses US carriers of ‘bullying’

At least 15 migrants drown near Lesbos

Former employees work to salvage Mosul University

Jordan wary about jihadists wishing to return home

Mattis sees Saudi Arabia ‘helping across the region’

Sirens, silence as Israel remembers Holocaust

Houthis intensify crackdown on dissent in Yemen

Italian reporter released in Turkey

Algiers summons Morocco envoy over Syrian migrant row

Iran reverses decision to ban live presidential debates

Six Israelis including two soldiers held for anti-Arab attacks

Economists, rights advocates concerned over Egypt’s state of emergency

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti

Qatari hunters ecstatic at release from Iraqi kidnappers

Prosecutor says charities colluding with migrant traffickers

France votes under heavy security

Israel kills three in attack on pro-regime Syria camp

Iran's Ahmadinejad won't endorse other candidates

Rocky days ahead after Turkey referendum

Huge Shiite crowd throngs Baghdad shrine

Rabat accuses Algiers of expelling 55 migrants across border

Morocco, US take part in joint military exercise

US defence secretary visits key ally Qatar

Lebanese activists ramp up campaign against rape law

Saudis among kidnapped hunters freed in Iraq

Trial in Tunisia beach massacre set to begin April 26

Tunisia hotel attacked by jihadists sees hope in 'rebirth'

IS claims deadly attack on FSB office in Russia

Spate of attacks shows weakening of Islamic State

Mediterranean migrant death toll tops 1,000 in 2017

Iraq forces free 11-year-old Yazidi girl in Mosul

Kuwaiti opposition leader freed from prison

Kidnapped Qataris freed in Iraq, Syria evacuations resume

Turkey opposition to appeal referendum at top court