Friday, April 20, 2012

Deadly attacks hit 6 Iraqi provinces, 43 killed

BAGHDAD, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Deadly attacks struck six Iraqi provinces on Thursday, killing at least 43 people and wounding some 155, in what appeared to be an attempt by insurgent groups to destabilize the country and undermine confidence in the Iraqi government.

In the capital Baghdad, one of the deadliest attack occurred in the morning in the northern neighborhood of Kadhmiyah, when a car bomb parked near a hotel went off and killed up to three people and wounded 20 others.

In central Baghdad, another car bomb detonated near the convoy of the Iraqi Health Minister Majid Hamad Amin Jamil, a Kurd, in al- Talaie Square, killing two of the minister's bodyguards and wounding four people.

Amin escaped the attack unharmed, the police said.

A third car and three more roadside bombs ripped through the capital and killed a total of six people and wounded some 28 others. Read more above the video...
Stratfor tactical analyst Ben West discusses the militant attacks throughout Iraq on April 19 and what the decline in magnitude of such attacks means for Iraqi security forces.
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Near Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew up his car bomb near a military checkpoint in the town of Tarmiyah, some 30 km north of Baghdad, killing a soldier and wounding six others.

In a separate incident, a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest in the industrial district in Taji area, some 20 km north of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding nine others.

Also in Taji area, two roadside bombs detonated in the area, killing a civilian and wounding five others.

In Iraq's northern-central province of Salahudin, two car bombs and a roadside bomb struck the city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, targeted Iraqi police and government-backed Awakening Council group members, killing a total of eight people and wounding five others.

The Awakening Council group, also known as Sons of Iraq movement or Sahwa in Arabic, consists of mostly anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent militant groups, who turned their rifles to fight al- Qaida network after their leaders became dismayed by al-Qaida's brutality and religious zealotry in the country.

In a separate incident, a soldier was killed when a roadside bomb went off near an Iraqi army checkpoint on a main road near the town of Ishaqi, 110 km north of Baghdad.

Also in the province, a suspected gunman was killed in the morning when a bomb he was carrying in his car went off in the city of Dujail, some 60 km north of Baghdad.

In Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, two car bombs and a roadside bomb struck the Iraqi police in the morning, killing a total of four policemen and wounding 23 people, including seven policemen.

Colonel Taha Mohammed, police chief of al-Maqdad police station, was among the wounded, the police said.

Near Kirkuk, six mortar rounds landed on a village in the city of Dibis, some 45 km northwest of Kirkuk, killing four people and wounding six others.

The ethnically-mixed province of Kirkuk and its capital Kirkuk City are part of disputed areas between the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkomans. The area has long been the hotbed of insurgency since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest at the entrance of the house of a police officer in al-Amin district in northern the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, killing a passer- by and wounding 11 people.

The officer survived the attack unharmed as he was not at home, but five of his family members were among the wounded, the police said.

In a separate incident, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in al-Hadeed area, just west of Baquba and killed a policeman and wounded three others.

In addition, gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed a house of a Sahwa group member in the town of Mansouriyat al-Jabal, some 45 km east of Baquba, killing him before they fled the scene.

Also in Diyala, 19 people were wounded in separate bomb attacks across the province mostly targeting the Iraqi security forces.

In Iraq's western province of Anbar, a booby-trapped car detonated near a police vehicle in central the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, killing two policemen and wounding four others aboard along with a passer-by.

In a separate incident, a policeman was killed and three other wounded when a car bomb struck their patrol in central Ramadi.

In addition, a sticky bomb attached to the car of a policeman went off in southern the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, killing the policeman and wounding two people accompanying him in his car.

Also in Fallujah, gunmen planted bombs in the house of a police officer in southern the city and blew them up, wounding two family members, but the officer himself escaped unhurt as he was not at home.

In Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, four civilians were injured when a roadside bomb exploded near a popular restaurant in central the city of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.

Iraqi security forces said they captured a suicide bomber before he blew himself up while he was trying to sneak among troops and a crowd of people who gathered at the site of the explosion near the restaurant.

The latest wave of violence prompted immediate condemnation from Iraq politicians, including the parliament speaker Osama al- Nujaifi. Nujaifi warned that such attacks came as some parties, which he did not name, "are trying to exploit internal crises in order to target the national unity and are trying to sow sectarian and racism strife among the components of the Iraqi people."

Baghdad military command spokesman Colonel Dhia al-Wakeel said in a statement posted on the Interior Ministry website that "the purpose of these coordinated bombings is to send a message by the terrorist gangs that they are still alive and they did not completely lose the battle with the Iraqi security forces."

For her part, spokeswoman of the parliamentary bloc of Iraqia, Maysoon al-Damaluji, blamed Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as the commander in chief of Iraqi armed forces, for the weakness and futility of security measures that should prevent bloodshed in the country.

"The continuation of security deterioration in the country came as an inevitable result of the failure of officials to oversee the security issue," she said.

Violence and sporadic high profile attacks are still common in Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease of violence over the past few years.
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