Double bombing hits Iraq after Friday wave of attacks claimed 50 lives

Double bombing hits Iraq after Friday wave of attacks claimed 50 lives

Published time: March 22, 2014 12:47 Get short URL

At least seven people have been killed in a double bombing in Iraq on Saturday, after the bloodshed on the previous day took the lives of at least 50 people in a string of attacks, making it one of the deadliest since the beginning of the year.

At least five policemen and two civilians have been killed and 18 people injured in a double bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit. A roadside bomb exploded in a commercial street, while a few minutes later a car bomb struck policemen who arrived to inspect the first blast.

The attacks come after the deadly Friday events, in which the crisis-torn country was hit by multiple terror attacks.

In the first suicide attack on Friday, an unidentified gunman rammed an explosives-laden tanker into police HQ in the village of Injana, in Diyala province in north-eastern Iraq, 120 km north of Baghdad. According to Al Jazeera, twelve people were killed – including the battalion commander, Brigadier Ragheb al-Omari and his assistant, and dozens were injured.

The second attack happened a few hours later. A suicide bomber set off his explosive belt in the mosque among mourners in Ramadi, the capital and largest city of Anbar Province in central Iraq. At least ten mourners were killed in this attack and 27 wounded, reported the Associated Press.

The mourners had gathered for the funeral of Nasir al-Alawan, a leader in the anti-Al-Qaeda Sunni militia known also as Sahwa, who was killed in a roadside bombing a day earlier.

The Sahwa militia or the Sons of Iraq is a movement backed by the US government, aimed to maintain security in the Iraqi communities fight against the Al-Qaeda forces and other Sunni insurgents and patrol neighborhoods. The members of the organization have become frequent targets for Sunni insurgents who consider them traitors.

The number of victims was reported by medics and Iraqi officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to talk to the media.

A further nine people were killed and 25 injured in back-to-back car bombings in a public market in the town of Dibis in Kirkuk Province in northern Iraq, said Al Jazeera.

Gunmen also peppered an army checkpoint with bullets near the city of Samarra, a large city in Saladin Province to the north of Baghdad, killing at least two soldiers. The unknown gunmen also kidnapped nine soldiers before leaving the area, according to local police. A curfew has been introduced in the city since the violence broke out.

The next hotpoint was in the Sarha region of Saladin Province where clashes broke out between anti-government fighters and police leading to waves of blasts, including one at the local army base. Twelve people were killed and 13 injured in these explosions.

Sarha is located near the town of Sulaiman Pek, which has been repeatedly targeted over the past year by militants. The militants occupied the town in February, killing at least 21 people.

A roadside bomb detonated amid the military convoy of the commander of the army’s Fifth Brigade in the major industrial city of Baiji, Saladin Province, 240 km north of Baghdad, killing five officers and wounding seven more.

The attacks might be a response to upcoming campaigns for parliamentary elections scheduled for April 30.

No terrorist groups have immediately claimed responsibility for the recent attacks. However, the violence resembles multiple Al-Qaeda attacks on the Iraqi population. Al-Qaeda-linked militants frequently target Shiite dominated areas and security personnel, as the insurgents are aiming to destabilize the Shiite-led government.

Sectarian violence has spiked since April 2013, with the numbers of dead jumping to its highest levels since the worst of the country’s sectarian bloodshed in 2006-2008. According to UN statistics, nearly 8,868 people were killed in 2013, and over 1,400 people died in January and February of 2014.

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