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Deadly attacks kill 63 in Iraq


08:28, July 30, 2013

BAGHDAD, July 29 (Xinhua) -- A wave of violence, including 17 car bombings hitting Iraqi cities, killed up to 63 people and wounded some 224, amid growing tension that pushed UN envoy to Iraq to call for immediate government actions to stop the violence to avoid slipping the country back into sectarian strife.

The deadliest attacks occurred in Baghdad when a series of 12 car bombs ripped through the capital during the morning rush hours, targeting the Shiite-dominated neighborhoods of Sadr City, Hurriyah, Baiyaa, Habibiyah, Resalah, Shaab, Kadhmiyah, Tobchi, Shurta and abu Dsheer. A total of 24 people were killed and 137 others wounded, official sources said.

The blasts prompted the security forces to intensify measures at dozens of checkpoints on main streets across the capital, causing severe traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, two car bombs and a roadside bomb struck a crowded parking lot in the city of Kut, some 170 km southeast of Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding some 40, a local police source said, adding that two policemen were shot dead by gunmen using silenced weapons in al-Tshash area, just northeast of Kut.

Two more car bombs exploded in the city of Simawa, about 270 km south of Baghdad, killing five and wounding 21, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.

In the southern oil hub of Basra, a car bomb went off in the city's north, killing two people and wounding eight others, said a local police source.

In Salahudin province, a roadside bomb exploded near the convoy of Lieutenant Colonel Hammad al-Dulaimi, a provincial police commando chief, near the city of Baiji, destroying the car and killing the police chief, his aide and two bodyguards aboard, a provincial police source told Xinhua.

Separately, Iraqi security forces killed 10 suspected gunmen and seized a weapons cache, including 20 explosive vests, and destroyed a car bomb factory in an operation in the desert area in west of the city of Baiji, the source said.

Elsewhere, two suspected gunmen were killed in the town of Yathrib, some 80 km north of Baghdad, while they were driving a car loaded with bombs which detonated prematurely, the source added.

In northern Iraq, three soldiers were wounded when a suicide car bomber blew up his car near their patrol in the town of Rabia, some 100 km west of the city of Mosul, a local police source told Xinhua.

In a separate incident, a roadside bomb went off in the evening in the town of Madain, some 30 km southeast of Baghdad, killing two and wounding six others, the police said.

In the mean time, a bomb exploded at a perfume shop in Baghdad' s northern district of Waziriyah, killing two people and wounding seven others, added the police.

In the western province of Anbar, a magnetic bomb attached to a car carrying an officer affiliated to Iraqi SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) force in the city of Anah exploded, killing the officer and wounding two of his bodyguards, a provincial police source said.

In addition, a soldier was killed in a roadside bomb explosion near his patrol in the town of Amriyat al-Fallujah, near the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, the source said.

The security situation in Iraq began to deteriorate on April 23 after the security forces cracked down on a Sunni Arab protest camp in the northern city of Hawijah. The crackdown sparked fierce clashes across the country's predominantly Sunni provinces between the Sunni tribes and the security forces.

Violence by insurgent groups have since escalated and become audacious, as waves of massive bombings and almost daily attacks have left thousands of Iraqis killed and wounded.

Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in five years, raising fears that the latest bloodshed is bringing the country back to a full-blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.

UN envoy to Iraq Gyorgy Busztin said in a statement that he was "deeply concerned about the heightened level of violence which carries the danger that the country falls back into sectarian strife."

Busztin called on Iraqi leaders to act quickly and decisively to tame the surge of violence.

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

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