U.S. condemns Iraq bombing wave; new violence kills seven more

A boy looks at the site of a car bomb attack in the Shaab neighbourhood of northern Baghdad August 11, 2013. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
A boy looks at the site of a car bomb attack in the Shaab neighbourhood of northern Baghdad August 11, 2013. Credit: Reuters

Gun attacks and a bombing killed at least seven more people in Iraq on Sunday, police said, after a day of carnage aimed mainly at Shi’ite Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan.

The United States condemned a wave of car bombings which police and medical sources said killed nearly 80 people across Iraq on Saturday, saying those who had attacked civilians during Eid al-Fitr festivities were “enemies of Islam.”

Bombs tore through markets, shopping streets and parks late on Saturday as Iraqi families were out celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month.

Iraq’s Interior Ministry said media reports about the attacks had been exaggerated in a way that would give a morale boost to attackers. It said 21 people had been killed across Iraq in the multiple attacks and that a recent security crackdown called “Avenge the Martyrs” had been effective.

Eighteen months since the last U.S. troops withdrew, Sunni Islamist militants have been gathering force in their insurgency against Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government.

The civil war in neighboring Syria has aggravated tensions and the Interior Ministry said last month it was facing an “open war”.

The renewed violence has raised fears that Iraq could relapse into the sectarian bloodbath of 2006-2007 when tens of thousands were killed.

The State Department said Saturday’s attacks bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda’s Iraqi (AQI) branch. It reiterated that it was offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the killing or capture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the AQI leader.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks today in Baghdad,” the State Department said. “The terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community.”

It said the United States would work closely with the Iraqi government to confront al Qaeda and discuss this during a visit of Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari next week to Washington.

DEADLY RAMADAN

This has been one of the deadliest Ramadan months in years, with bomb attacks killing hundreds. Explosions in Baghdad on Tuesday killed 50.

On Sunday, gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint manned by “Sawha”, a government-backed Sunni militia, killing two and wounding two in the town of Buhriz, about 60 km (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

Further north, gunmen attacked a busy park in the town of Balad, killing two and wounding three, police said.

To the south of the capital, three anti-terrorism squad officers were killed and nine wounded by a roadside bomb in the town of Mahaweel, 60 km (35 miles) from Baghdad.

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

“This carnage reflects the inhuman character of its perpetrators,” United Nations envoy to Iraq Gyorgy Busztin said. “All honest Iraqis should unite to put an end to this murderous violence that aims to push the country into sectarian strife.”

Since last year, Iraq’s al Qaeda branch has merged with one of the most powerful Sunni Islamist rebel groups in Syria to form The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The group now controls towns and villages on both sides of the desert frontier, with access to funds, weapons and recruits.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility last month for simultaneous raids on two Iraqi prisons and said more than 500 inmates had escaped in the brazen operation.

The reward for Baghdadi is second only to that offered for information leading to the capture of Ayman al-Zawahri, the overall chief of al Qaeda’s network, the State Department said.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.