75 Die in Iraqi Bombings, Shootings

Cape Times (South Africa), January 16, 2014 | Go to article overview

75 Die in Iraqi Bombings, Shootings


BYLINE: Alistair Lyon Reuters

BAGHDAD: Bomb attacks and shootings killed at least 75 people in Iraq yesterday, police and hospital sources said, making it one of the bloodiest days in months.

In the deadliest incident, a bomb blew up in a funeral tent where mourners were marking the death two days ago of a Sunni Muslim pro-government militiaman, police said. It killed 18 people and wounded 16 in Shatub, a village south of Baquba. In north-western Iraq, assailants detonated roadside bombs near a bridge in Ain al-Jahash, 60km south of Mosul as an army patrol was crossing it. Six soldiers were killed and eight people were wounded, six of them civilians, police said.

Gunmen killed seven truck drivers, kidnapped two and set three trucks ablaze in the mainly Shia district of Maamil in Baghdad's eastern outskirts, police said.

The army is locked in a stand-off with Sunni militants who overran Falluja more than two weeks ago in a challenge to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shia-led government. They are led by the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is fighting in western Iraq and Syria to carve out a cross-border Islamist fiefdom.

Maliki has ruled out an assault on Falluja by the troops and tanks ringing the city of 300 000, but has told local tribesmen to expel ISIL, which has exploited anger among minority Sunnis against a government they accuse of oppressing them. …

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