Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Iraq on Fire as bombings rage through the country

Tuesday was a day of mourning for Iraq as a series of what appeared to be coordinated bombings raged through the country. There were bombings in more than 8 provinces including capital Baghdad, Kirkuk, Nineveh, Salahadin, Diyala, Anbar, Babil and Karbala. More than 150 people were either killed or injured in more 15 confirmed attacks.

The bombings come only 9 days ahead of the upcoming Arab League Summit scheduled to be held in Baghdad on March 29. Iraq has long been waiting for the Summit to be held in Baghdad seeing it as an important opportunity to regain it esteem among the Arab states.  

Iraqi officials said earlier this week that some 100,000 Iraqi troops will be on alert to keep security in Baghdad during the days of the Arab Summit.

The attacks seemed to be coordinated by the militants, most likely al-Qaeda in Iraq, who have carried out similar attacks on government institutions, security forces as well as civilians. The bombings today send a clear message to the Iraqi authorities that militants are still powerful and can attack whenever and wherever they want.

The majority of the attacks carried out today were carried out by suicide bombers riding booby-trapped cars. Of the 15 attacks, 11 were car bombs, 1 IED and 3 others were shooting attacks. There were also a few foiled attacks.

So far, the following attacks and casualties have been confirmed:

  • A car bomb in the northern Kirkuk city left over 30 casualties, most of them civilians. It was not clear how many people were killed and how many were injured.
  • One civilian was killed and 30 others were injured when a car bomb exploded in central Hilla city, Babail provincial capital.
  • A member of the Tuz Khurmatu district, I northern Salahaddin province, council was shot dead by militants.
  • 13 were killed and 42 others were injured in two separate car bomb attacks in Karbala. The bombings allegedly targeted Iranian visitors. One Iranian visitor is among the dead and one is among the wounded.
  • A car bomb went off in Baghdad's central Allawi area leaving an unknown number of people injured.
  • Five civilians were injured today in two car bomb attacks in Baiji and Samarra, Salahaddin province.
  • Four unidentified gunmen stormed a church in the Mansour district, western Baghdad, today killing three security guards. The church's fourth guard was able to escape the assault.
  • Iraqi police foiled a plot to detonate two car bombs in Baghdad. The car bombs were located in Khadra neighborhood, western Baghdad, and Latifiya district, south of the capital.
  • A second car bomb exploded today in Baghdad, Mahmoudieh district, killing and injuring a number of people.
  • Security forces managed to disarm a car bomb today in Karrada district's Abu Nawwas street, central Baghdad.
  • The governor of Anbar survived an assassination attempt today after a car bomb driven by a suicide bomber struck his motorcade in central Ramadi city. Two of Governor Qassim al-Fahdawi guards were killed in the attack and seven more injured, including 2 civilians.
  • Chairman of Baghdad's provincial capital, Kamil al-Zaidi, survived an assassination attempt today when a suicide bomber blew himself up. There were injuries among the official's guards.
  • An improvised explosive device struck a police patrol at the entrance of the district in al-Ba'aj, west of Mosul city, in Nineveh killing three policemen and injuring four others.
  • A car bomb in the city of Samarra, Salahaddin, went off leaving four people seriously injured.
  • Two civilians were killed and one more injured during clashes between gunmen and local police.