Wave Of Car Bombs Hits Baghdad, 66 Dead

Sectarian violence continues to grip Iraq:

BAGHDAD (AP) — A wave of car bombings tore through mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods of the Baghdad area starting Monday afternoon, leaving at least 66 dead in the latest outburst of an unusually intense wave of bloodshed roiling Iraq.

The blasts are the latest indication that Iraq’s security is rapidly deteriorating as sectarian tensions exacerbated by months of Sunni-led anti-government protests and the war in neighboring Syria are on the rise.

Iraq has been hit by a wave of bloodshed that has killed more than 350 people in the past two weeks alone.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s bloodshed, but the attacks bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida’s Iraqi arm. The group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, frequently uses car bombs and coordinated blasts in an effort to undermine Iraqis’ confidence in the Shiite-led government.

The day’s deadliest attack happened when two bombs exploded in the eastern Habibiya neighborhood, which is near the sprawling Shiite district of Sadr City. That attack killed 12 killed and wounded 35, according to police.

Twin blasts also struck an open-air market in the predominantly Shiite al-Maalif area, killing six and wounding 12 others, two police officers said.

Another car bomb exploded in the busy commercial Sadoun Street in central Baghdad. It killed five civilians and wounded 14 others, two other police officers said. Among the wounded were four policemen who were in a nearby checkpoint.

(…)

In the northern Sabi al-Boor neighborhood, police said eight civilians were killed and 26 wounded when another car bomb exploded in a market.

Meanwhile in the southwestern neighborhood of Bayaa, another car bomb explosion in a market killed six civilians and wounded 16. In northern Baghdad’s Kazimiyah district, a car bomb blew up near a bus and taxi stop, killing four and wounding 11 others. And in Baghdad’s central Sadria area, a car bomb went off in a market and killed three civilians and wounded 11.

In the eastern Jisr Diyala area, a car bomb killed 5 and wounded 12. And in the northern Shaab area, a car bomb killed four and wounded nine.

Car bombs also struck the eastern Baladiyat neighborhood, killing four and wounding 11, and the northern neighborhood of Hurriyah, leaving five dead and 14 wounded.

In Madain, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of central Baghdad, a car bomb killed three and wounded nine.

Medical officials confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Although violence has decreased sharply in Iraq since the height of insurgency, militants are still capable to carry out lethal attacks nationwide.

The recent wave of bloodshed has raised tensions between the country’s Sunni minority and Shiite-led government. The surge in violence has been reminiscent of the sectarian carnage that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

This appears to be a continuation of the violence that began before Iraq’s recent elections, and one wonders if its the harbinger of a deeper civil war about to strike the country.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Quick Takes,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Tragic, but I am glad we are actually past our old “you broke it, you bought it” level of thinking.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Regardless of whose fault it is, a regional war that engulfs the entire Middle East probably won’t do us any good. That’s how Syria is now being characterized and if the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate it could mean a war that spread from the Mediterranean to the Gulf.

    This is not to say that I think we should be more involved. I don’t. I think that interventionism can have unpredictable and uncontrollable consequences. “Shockwaves from Mali” are now being felt in Niger and those shockwaves in turn were shockwaves from Libya.

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    This is just a continuation of what has been going on for 1500 + years – the weapons are just more powerful.

  4. john personna says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    It matters whose fault it is. It should be a lesson.

    The senior Bush, CIA connected as he was, played The Great Game and left Saddam in tension with Iran. His idiot son broke that, and he had a rather foolish idea of how to fix it. For a time Americans accepted that stupid burden. Compassion and or sympathy ran out. In my opinion that had to happen, because self-determination in that region was never going to be easy. Stupid and mismatched comparisons to WWII reconstruction only take you so far.

    Happy Memorial Day.

  5. walt moffett says:

    @john personna:

    Might want to look up Operation New Dawn at this official website. About 50k US/NATO troops, civilian advisors etc are in the middle.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Thank God we saved these people.

  7. Jim Henley says:

    @Dave Schuler: Remind me, please. Were you an advocate of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq? My memory says yes, but it could be unreliable.

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    @Jim Henley:

    Absolutely not. I thought it was ill-considered.

  9. Jim Henley says:

    @Dave Schuler: Ah! Thank you. I’m glad I didn’t trust decade-old memories.

  10. matt says:

    @Dave Schuler: I’m pretty sure I remember Dave saying as such.

  11. Dave Schuler says:

    @Jim Henley:

    The few. The proud.

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    It´s not a regional war nor a tribal conflict. It´s a weak and inefficient Iraqi government that can´t secure the country nor deal with terrorists. We are talking about a small minority that wants to creates a civil war, and the lack of institutions is allowing them to have success.

  13. Sam Malone says:

    The Surge worked, clearly.