Car bombs kill nearly 80 in Iraq, target festivities

Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Nasiriyah city, 375 km (233 miles) south of Baghdad. Credit: Reuters
Iraqi security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Nasiriyah city, 375 km (233 miles) south of Baghdad.
Credit: Reuters

A series of car bombs in mainly Shi’ite areas of Baghdad killed 57 people and wounded more than 150 on Saturday, in what appeared to be coordinated attacks on people celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The 12 separate blasts targeting markets, busy shopping streets and parks where families like to mark Eid were part of a surge in sectarian violence in Iraq since the start of the year.

This has been one of the deadliest Ramadan months in years, with regular bomb attacks killing scores of people, especially in the capital. The latest bombings were similar to attacks in Baghdad on Tuesday in which 50 died.

More than 1,000 Iraqis have been killed in July, the highest monthly death toll since 2008, according to the United Nations.

The Interior Ministry has said the country faced an “open war” fuelled by Iraq’s sectarian divisions and has ramped up security in Baghdad, closing roads and sending out frequent helicopter patrols.

Eighteen months since the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, Sunni Islamist militants have been regaining momentum in their insurgency against the Shi’ite-led government, and have been emboldened by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

On Saturday, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan said his region was prepared to defend Kurds living in neighboring Syria, in what appeared to be the first warning of a possible intervention and a further sign that the conflict is spilling over Syria’s borders.

Outside Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a car on a busy street in the town of Tuz Khurmato, 170 km (105 miles) north of the capital, killing at least 10 people and wounding 45, medical and police sources said.

Tuz Khurmato is located in a particularly violent region over which both the central government and autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan claim jurisdiction.

Police believe the bomber was trying to reach the local headquarters of a Kurdish political party, but was unable to reach the building because of increased security in the area, a police source said.

In the town of Nassiriya, 300 km (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad, twin car bombs near a park killed six people and wounded 25, police and medical sources said.

Pictures showed metal shop fronts contorted by one of the blasts, with blackened scraps of debris littering the ground. Two tires on an axle were all that was left of one of the cars used in the attack.

Car bombs also hit the Shi’ite city of Kerbala, killing four and wounding 11, and targeted a Shi’ite mosque in the northern city of Kirkuk, killing one worshipper and wounding five.

Tensions between Shi’ite, Kurdish and Sunni factions in Iraq’s power-sharing government have been rising, and the renewed violence has sparked fears of a return to the sectarian slaughter of 2006-2007.

Iraqis have endured extreme violence for years, but since the since the start of 2013 the intensity of attacks on civilians has dramatically increased, reversing a trend that had seen the country grow more peaceful.

In recent months insurgents have moved beyond attacking shopping districts to targeting youths playing football and people watching matches on television at the Baghdad cafes which have dared to stay open.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.