63 killed in Iraq bombings

    By IANS,

    Baghdad: A wave of violence, including 17 car bombings in different parts of Iraq Monday killed at least 63 people while leaving 224 injured.

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    The violence made the UN envoy to Iraq to give a 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. It targetted the Shiite-dominated neighbourhoods of Sadr City, Hurriyah, Baiyaa, Habibiyah, Resalah, Shaab, Kadhmiyah, Tobchi, Shurta and abu Dsheer, Xinhua reported.

    A total of 24 people were killed and 137 wounded, official sources said.

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

    Two more car bombs exploded in Simawa city, about 270 km from Baghdad, killing five and wounding 21, a local police source said.

    In the southern oil hub of Basra, two people were killed and eight injured when a car bomb went off in the city’s north, a local police source said.

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

    Separately, Iraqi security forces killed 10 suspected gunmen, the source said.

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

    In north 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 from Mosul city.

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

    Meanwhile, two people were killed when a bomb exploded at a perfume shop in Baghdad’ s Waziriyah district.

    In Anbar province in the west, an officer affiliated to Iraqi SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) force was killed and two of his bodyguards were killed when a magnetic bomb attached to a car exploded, a provincial police source said.

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

    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.