Sectarian Bombings in Iraq Kill 60+ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gavriel Queenann 02/23/12)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
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A wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq killed at least 60
people and injured as many as 200 others Thursday as sectarian
tensions grow amid a political row.
The car bomb in Baghdad killed at least nine people and wounded 27 in
the upmarket Karrada neighborhood. At least two other blasts hit
Karrada, including another car bomb attack that killed one person.
In at least three Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, nine policemen
were killed. And in the capital’s northwestern Kadhimiya district, a
car bomb on a busy street killed six people.
Another car bomb targeting a police patrol in the mixed Mansour
neighborhood killed two people. Twin roadside bombs killed two people
and wounded 9 in a mostly Shiite district of the southern Doura
In the most deadly attack outside Baghdad, a car bomb killed seven
people and wounded 33 in the town of Balad. Four people were killed
in Salaheddin, a police colonel in the province said, while six more
were killed in Diyala.
On Sunday, a suicide car bombing killed 19 people at a Baghdad police
Attacks against primarily Shiite targets surged after Shiite Prime
Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government moved against senior members of
the Sunni-backed Iraqiya political bloc.
This week, Maliki moved against two top Sunni political leaders
saying Vice President Tariq Hashimi of “running a death squad” and
calling for a vote of no confidence in his deputy, Saleh Mutlak, who
had likened the prime minister to a dictator.
His accusations against the fugitive al-Hashemi – hiding in northern
Iraq where the government holds little sway and Kurdish influence is
strong – came after the vice president charged on Monday that his
bodyguards and other employees were being held in secret prisons and
subjected to torture by Maliki loyalists.
Last month, al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq claimed
responsibility for attacks on Shiite pilgrims and said it would
continue operations “as long as the Safavid government continues its
war” against Sunnis.
“We will spill rivers of their blood as reciprocity,” it added.
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces on Wednesday arrested the head of
Ansar al-Sunna, a Sunni terrorist group said to be linked to al-Qaeda.
“Iraqi forces today arrested the leader of Ansar al-Sunna, Walid
Khaled Ali, as he tried to illegally infiltrate into Iraqi territory
from Syria,” Brigadier General Khaled al-Dulaimi told AFP.
Ansar al-Sunna is an ultra-conservative Sunni Salafist group that has
claimed responsibility for several attacks against US and Iraqi
security forces. It is an offshoot of the Kurdish group Ansar al-
Hundreds have been killed in attacks since American forces completed
their pullout from Iraq on December 18 amid debate among US
policymakers over the wisdom of the move.
Sunni tribesmen joined forces with the US military against al-Qaeda
from late 2006, which helped turn the tide against the terror
insurgency. But now that tide has again reversed course.
Republican lawmakers sharply criticized President Obama for not
trying harder to keep a US military presence in Iraq. Sen. John
McCain of Arizona said on CBS television Thursday that Iraq
was "unraveling tragically."
"We are paying a very heavy price in Baghdad because of our failure
to have a residual force there," he said. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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