Children at the scene of a bombing in Sadr City, Iraq on May 23, 2011. The war inside Iraq has escalated since the beginning of the year., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
17 Iraqis, 2 U.S. soldiers killed in wave of bombings
Attacks in central Iraq, most of them in the Baghdad area, highlight the tenuous security situation as militant groups continue to strike ahead of the planned U.S. withdrawal by year's end.
By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
Los Angeles Times
4:05 PM PDT, May 22, 2011
Reporting from Baghdad
At least 17 Iraqis and two U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday in a wave of explosions, mostly in Baghdad, including a suicide bombing against police, security sources and the U.S. military said.
The bloodshed highlighted the tenuous situation around Baghdad, where attacks and assassinations still occur almost daily. It also drew attention to the continuing efforts to kill American troops by Sunni Arab and Shiite militants ahead of the scheduled departure of American forces at the end of the year. There has been an increase in the shelling around U.S. military bases inside Baghdad's airport grounds as well as the U.S. Embassy compound in the fortified Green Zone enclave.
The U.S. military declined to provide details on the attack that killed the two soldiers in central Iraq, which includes the Baghdad area. The deaths brought the number of Americans killed to at least 4,454 since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to the latest figures on the website icasualties.org, which tracks US military deaths.
Eleven American troops were killed last month, the deadliest since November 2009.
On Sunday morning, a car bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy near Taji, the site of a major military installation just north of Baghdad, but it caused no damage to the American vehicles, according to an Iraqi security official. When police gathered at the car bombing site, a suicide bomber approached and blew himself up, killing 10 police and wounding another 16 people, the official said.
The blast was the third major bombing against police this month, following Thursday's double bombing outside the police's headquarters in the northern city of Kirkuk that killed at least 27 people and a separate attack on police offices in Hillah, south of Baghdad, that left 16 dead.
The attacks were a reminder that Iraq remains without a defense or interior minister five months after a coalition government was sworn in.
The wave of explosions included as series of blasts during Baghdad's morning rush hour, with six people killed, security officials said. A car bomb in the western neighborhood of Amil killed a policeman on patrol and wounded three of his colleagues. Four civilians were killed and 15 wounded in four roadside explosions in the western Shiite neighborhood of Bayaa. A car bombing injured nine people in the eastern district of Sadr City, and a roadside bomb nearby killed a civilian.
The motorcade of a brigadier general with the Interior Ministry was hit by a bomb, killing one civilian and wounding three others. A second attack on the U.S. military was reported Sunday evening, with a security official saying a roadside bomb had struck a Humvee outside the neighborhood of Amiriya in west Baghdad.
People expressed frustration over the bombings and strikes against Iraq's police. "The security forces are targeted more because they represent the security situation and they are responsible for it," said Hassan Kabi, a Sadr City resident. "Hitting them is a message to all that the situation is not good."
Salman is a staff writer in The Times' Baghdad bureau
Wave of bombings strike across Iraq
More than a dozen blasts across mostly Shia areas in Baghdad target government and police, leaving at least 16 dead
Last Modified: 22 May 2011 08:52
At least 16 people have been killed and dozens injured after a wave of apparently co-ordinated bombings hit mostly Shia areas in central Iraq on Sunday.
Most of the blasts occurred in Baghdad between 7am and 8am, during rush hour on the first day of the work week, and targeted police officers and government officials, though some hit markets and injured civilians.
Taji - Suicide bomber strikes Iraqi police responding to car comb on US convoy; 7 police killed, 10 others injured.
Sadr City - One car bomb, one roadside bomb hidden in pile of garbage, one bomb in parking lot near market kill two people and injure at least 19. Car bomb targets colonel in Interior Ministry.
Amal/Bayaa, west Baghdad - Five roadside bombs and one parked car bomb kill two people and injure at least 15. Police patrol and busy intersection among targets.
West Baghdad - Bomb in Saidiyya injures three; bomb in Wathiq Square kills one, injures 13, including six security troops.
East Baghdad - Bomb in Beirut Square injures six; bomb near Canal Street injures unknown number of people.
The deadliest attack occurred in Taji, around 25 kilometres north of the capital. Police were responding a car bombing that had struck a US patrol convoy - causing no casualties - when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest amid the crowd, killing seven police officers and injuring at least 10 others.
In Baghdad, a car bomb in the Talbiya neighbourhood near Sadr City targeted the convoy of a colonel in the Interior Ministry, Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reported. The colonel, a manager in the Ministry's internal affairs department, was not hurt, but five other people, including two of his bodyguards, were wounded.
Two other attacks occurred in Sadr City, including a roadside bomb that exploded near the General Hospital, killing two and injuring seven, and an improvised explosive device that exploded near a market, injuring six.
Other attacks in the city targeted police, Arraf said: Two roadside bombs that exploded in Wathiq Square killed one person and wounded 12, including two police, two traffic police and two civil defence officers. One bomb in Beirut Square in the centre of the city targeted a police convoy and wounded six people.
The Shia Amal neighbourhood in west Baghdad took the heaviest bombings; four improvised explosives and one car bomb detonated in a square near a federal police building, killing two people and wounded 15 others.
Another bomb in the Sadiyah neighbourhood injured three people.
The coordinated attacks in Baghdad emphasised the uncertain security situation in Iraq ahead of the withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year. Iraq still lacks an interior or defence minister, Arraf noted.
On Thursday, a double bombing at a parking garage in the northern city of Kirkuk killed at least 27 people, almost all of them police officers. Another eight officers were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their convoy as they responded to the scene.
That attack followed a jailbreak earlier this month in Baghdad, when key militants who had been linked to al-Qaeda escaped from an Interior Ministry compound, leaving a top counterterrorism official dead in the process, Arraf said.
Source: Al Jazeera