Bombs kill 30 in Iraq Shi'ite cities

HILLA, Iraq Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:59pm IST

1 of 2. Municipality workers clean debris at the site of a bomb attack in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, November 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mushtaq Muhammed

Related Topics

HILLA, Iraq (Reuters) - Bombs in two majority Shi'ite Muslim cities in southern Iraq killed 28 people on Thursday, police and hospital sources said, in an attack aimed at spreading sectarian strife in the country.

Scores more were wounded in the blasts, which struck during a month that is of special significance to Shi'ite Muslims, who are often targeted by al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate and other Sunni Muslim insurgents.

Nearly 2,000 people have been killed in Iraq so far this year following last December's withdrawl of U.S. troops, who had invaded in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Although violence is far lower than during the sectarian slaughter of 2006-2007, insurgents have carried out at least one big attack a month this year,

Tensions between Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni factions in Iraq's power-sharing government have been on the rise since the U.S. withdrawl. Rivals of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accuse him of trying to monopolise power.

Iraqi officials are also now worried that Islamists may be gaining strength from the conflict in neighbouring Syria, where Islamists have joined the ranks of rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

Two explosions near a restaurant in the city of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, killed 28 people, said Nabil Mohammed, the head of a hospital there.

"We started to stop civilian cars asking them to take the wounded to hospital since there were not enough ambulances to transfer them," said 39-year-old Ihsan al-Khalidi, a schoolteacher who was near the scene of the explosions.

Blood, shoes, body parts and wristwatches were scattered around the site of the blast and grieving women pounded their faces and chests, searching for relatives who might have been hurt.

"Shame on the officials who are just sitting in their offices while explosions hit the city every day," Khalidi said.

In the predominantly Shi'ite city of Kerbala, a car bomb near a bus terminal where pilgrims gather killed two people, a spokesman for the local health office said.

Attacks tend to increase during the period when Shi'ites commemorate the death of the Prophet's grandson, Imam Hussein.

On Tuesday, car bombs targeting Shi'ites in mourning processions killed 14 people in Baghdad.

Shi'ites were not the only target on Thursday. In Falluja, a mainly Sunni city 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, three people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the midst of a group of soldiers who were gathering to get their pay from a state bank, police and health sources said.

A roadside bomb also went off near a checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul, killed one policeman and one civilian, police said.

(Additional reporting by Sufyan al-Mashhadani in Mosul, Aseel Kami in Baghdad, Kamal al-Ayash in Falluja; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Taiwan Crash

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Gaza Conflict

Gaza Conflict

Gaza bloodshed deepens, airlines shun Israel.  Full Article 

Day of Grief

Day of Grief

First of flight MH17 victims' remains arrive in the Netherlands.  Full Article 

War Crimes

War Crimes

U.N.'s Pillay says Israel may be committing war crimes.  Full Article 

Rise Of Islamic State

Rise Of Islamic State

Young Islamic State robs al Qaeda of militant prestige.  Full Article 

Korean Fugitive

Korean Fugitive

South Korea ferry fugitive hid behind cabin wall, bags of cash at hand.  Full Article 

Journey to Scrapyard

Journey to Scrapyard

Wrecked Concordia finally headed for scrapyard after massive salvage operation.  Full Article 

Airspace to Avoid

Airspace to Avoid

Places of conflict around the world with restrictions on air travel.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage