People of Northwest Public Radio
Thu April 19, 2012
String Of Attacks Kills More Than 30 In Iraq
A string of bombings struck Baghdad today and left at least 30 people dead. It was the most violent day the city has seen in close to a month.
As The New York Times points out, while this kind of violence is common in the country, today's attacks were "a reminder, after weeks of relative calm, that an organized insurgency remained active."
The AP reports that the string of explosions happened within the span of an hour and 15 minutes and wounded nearly 100 people.
The AP adds:
"There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Baghdad military command spokesman Col. Dhia Wakeel said they resembled those carried out by Al Qaeda.
"'They want to send a message that they can target the stability that has been achieved recently,' Wakeel said. 'This will not discourage our security forces.'"
The bombings also come at a time of heightened sectarian tensions between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Ever since the U.S. pulled out of the country, some have worried that a civil war could break out in the country.
"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 Shi'ite areas and local security forces," reports Reuters.
The Times has a bit more detail on a few of the bombings:
"Some bombs targeted Shiite Muslims, who make up the majority of Iraq's population and are frequently the victims of what is left of country's Sunni insurgency and its main group, Al Qaeda in Iraq. A hotel in Khadamiya, a Baghdad neighborhood that is home to an important Shiite shrine, was struck by a car bomb. The attack killed two at the hotel, which often plays host to Shiite pilgrims from Iran.
"In Samara, north of Baghdad, two car bombs hit a checkpoint guarded by members of a local Awakening group, the movement that is made up of former insurgents who were paid to switch sides under a program that was begun by the American military. In that attack, three were killed and six wounded."