Latest News:  


Wave of attacks kill 61 in Iraq


08:20, May 21, 2013

BAGHDAD, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A series of car bombs and shootings mainly targeting Shiite areas across Iraq on Monday killed at least 61 people, including several Iranian pilgrims, and wounded some 200, apparently in an attempt to stir up sectarian strife among Iraqis.

The worst violence on Monday occurred in capital Baghdad, when eight car bombs and a roadside bomb ripped through bus stops, marketplaces and other crowded areas in the mainly Shiite neighborhoods in the city, killing a total of 12 people and wounding some 109.

In Iraq's oil-hub city of Basra, some 550 km south of Baghdad, 11 people were killed and 35 wounded when two car bombs went off almost simultaneously in the western part of the city.

Elsewhere, a roadside bomb went off near fighters of government- backed paramilitary group, also known as Awakening Council group, in the city of Samarra, some 110 km north of Baghdad, killing two fighters and wounding 18, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The fighters of the Sunni group were gathering near an Iraqi army base to collect their salaries when the bomb went off, the source said.

In a separate incident, unidentified gunmen opened fire on another group of Sunni fighters as they were also collecting their salaries in the town of Yathrib, some 85 km north of Baghdad, killing one of them and wounding two, the source added.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden car into the checkpoint manned by members of another Sunni paramilitary group in the city of Baiji, some 220 km north of Baghdad, killing two fighters and wounding five others, a local police source told Xinhua.

Also in the day, a car bomb parked on a main road near the city of Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, went off near a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims, killing eight pilgrims and wounding 19 others, including five women, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.

The Iraqi driver of the bus and a passerby were also wounded by the blast, the source said.

The Iranian pilgrims were on their way back to Baghdad after they ended their visit to the Shiite shrines in Samarra, 110 km north of Baghdad and Balad, the source added.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, three people were killed and three wounded in two bomb attacks near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.

In western Iraq, 12 kidnapped policemen were killed and four wounded during an overnight raid by the Iraqi forces on an insurgents' safe house at a desert area between Baghdad and Jordan in Anbar province to free kidnapped policemen, a provincial police source told Xinhua on Monday morning.

It was not clear whether the victims were executed by their abductors or were caught in the crossfire, the source said.

The volatile province was the scene of another deadly attack against the police late on Sunday, when unidentified gunmen attacked a police station in the town of Rawa, 260 km northwest of Baghdad and killed ten policemen before they fled the scene, according to the provincial police.

Anbar province is the heartland of the Iraqi Sunni Muslims. Its capital Ramadi has been one of the main areas of the Sunni protests against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad since last December.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, but the al-Qaida front in Iraq, in most cases, were responsible for such massive attacks in the country, raising fears that the terrorist group and other militia could return to widespread violence.

Monday's bombings came amid escalation of sectarian tension between the Sunni and Shiite communities, which has been at its highest level since the U.S. troops pulled out from the country at the end of 2011. For five months, the Sunni Muslims have been carrying protests against the Shiite-led government in the Sunni provinces and the Sunni districts in Baghdad.

The Sunnis accuse the government of marginalizing them, and claimed that the Shiite-dominated Iraqi security forces were indiscriminately arresting their sons and torturing them.

The deadly bomb attacks in Iraq pushed the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki to vow that he will overhaul security plans and will carry out changes in his security personnel.

"Now we are about to make changes in the high and middle positions, as well as in the (security) plans," Maliki told reporters in a news conference after the attacks.

We recommend:

New Dutch King Willem-Alexander sworn in

See the remarkable photos of April

May Day protests around the globle

People rally to urge immigration policy

Greek Orthodox Patriarch's washing of feet ceremony

101.73-carat diamond to be auctioned in Geneva

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:MaXi、Liang Jun)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. New-type guided missile frigate

  2. Fighters in actual-combat training

  3. Tornadoes hit U.S. state of Oklahoma

  4. Reality of migrant workers' sexual needs

  5. China’s weekly story (2013.5.11-5.17)

  6. Explosion kills 13 in China's Shandong

  7. Stevie Wonder advocates for disabled

  8. Highlights of FINA Diving World Series

  9. 2013 Youth Designers' Exhibition (YODEX) in Taipei

  10. 11th China Animal Husbandry Expo opens

Most Popular


  1. Preserving culture hurts
  2. Chinese premier's India trip to evince Beijing's unwavering pursuit of better ties
  3. AP probe embodies tension between US govt, media
  4. Protectionism no painkiller for Europe
  5. Culture key to sustainable development
  6. Ten white papers, road to human rights protection
  7. Teen's tragedy reveals child abuse problems
  8. People with depression show disrupted brain 'clock'
  9. iPad obsession hurting child's development
  10. Positive signs in Europe hard won

What’s happening in China

Many register as couples on '5.20' day

  1. Science students calculate formulas for love
  2. Super 8 hotel building collapses in Fuzhou
  3. 61,300 caught in national sweep on drug crime
  4. Four-storey building collapses in SE China
  5. H7N9 found in poultry sample in S China