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Spate of bombings kills 57 in Iraq

English.news.cn   2014-01-16 03:09:44

BAGHDAD, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- A series of car bombs and roadside bombs in central and eastern Iraq on Wednesday killed a total of 57 people and wounded 137 others, raising fears that the increasing violence could bring the country to uncontrollable sectarian violence.

In Baghdad, at least eight car bombs and two roadside bombs ripped through busy areas in the capital, killing a total of 39 people and wounding 109 others.

Eight people were killed and 20 others wounded when two car bombs exploded in Husseiniya district in northern Baghdad, a police source told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, a car bomb exploded in Shaib district in the northeastern part of Baghdad, killing up to four people and wounding 14 others, while five civilians were killed and 14 others injured when a car bomb exploded in Shula district in northwestern Baghdad, the police source said.

Three more people were killed and nine wounded in Shula district in a roadside explosion at a marketplace, the source added.

Five people were killed and nine wounded when a car bomb exploded in Andalus Square in central Baghdad, he said, adding that three civilians were killed and eight wounded when a roadside bomb went off in a popular market in al-Obeidi area of eastern Baghdad.

Separately, a car bomb explosion in al-Sanah Street in central Baghdad killed up to six civilians and injured 12 others, the source said, adding that another 12 people were injured when a car bomb exploded in Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad.

An Iraqi police officer was killed when a sticky bomb struck his car in Zafaraniyah area of eastern Baghdad, he added.

The eighth car bomb blast occurred in the Shiite district of Sadr City in eastern the capital, killing four people and wounding 11, the source said.

The deadliest single attack occurred in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, when 14 people were killed and 25 wounded in three bomb explosions at a funeral tent in the village of Shatib near Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua.

Separately, the Iraqi police said that explosive experts have also defused four car bombs in the neighborhoods of Shaab, Zaiyouna, Mashtel and al-Hurriyah, without causing casualties.

Elsewhere, a car bomb went off at the entrance of the city of Dujail, some 60 km north of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding three others, a local police source said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, but the al-Qaida front in Iraq, in most cases, are allegedly responsible for such massive attacks in the country, raising fears that the terrorist group and other militia could return to widespread violence.

The latest wave of massive bombings came as the Iraqi army backed by Sunni tribes have been fighting al-Qaida militants in Iraq's western province of Anbar in particular in and near the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, and near the restive city of Fallujah.

On Wednesday fierce battles continued in Ramadi as insurgents seized new areas in the city, while sporadic clashes between gunmen and tribesmen persist in the town of Garma near Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad.

Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.

Tension was already running high in the Sunni heartland of Anbar after the Iraqi security forces on December 28 last year captured the Sunni Arab tribal leader Ahmad al-Alwani and killed his brother. Al-Alwani is also a lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament.

The Sunnis have been carrying out a year-long protest, accusing the Shiite-led government of marginalizing them and its Shiite- dominated security forces of indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing their sons.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged the people of Anbar to continue fighting al-Qaida militant group, and called for the world to support the war against terrorism.

"We call on the sons of the tribes in Fallujah, Saqlawiyah in Anbar province and in Nineveh province to take a firm stance in order to expel the terrorists from their areas so that peace would prevail there," Maliki said in his weekly televised speech.

"As we are fighting al-Qaida and terrorism, we call on the international community to take a firm stance toward those countries who support those (terrorist) organizations," Maliki said, adding "our battle is long and we will continue."

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, which is the highest annual death toll for years.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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