Over 100 killed in Iraq’s coordinaded attacks
Several attacks in three different parts of Iraq today killed over 100 people and injured almost 350 more, making Monday the deadliest day in the country this year.
Early on Monday morning, attacks with automatic weapons against six army and police checkpoints in the city of Baghdad killed seven police officers, with three other bombings in the city killing another two policemen.
An official from Iraq’s interior ministry said that the attacks in Baghdad began at around 0630 local time (0330 UTC), not ending until around 0800 local time (0500 UTC). The official also said that most of those wounded were security personnel.
At around 1330 local time (1030 UTC), three car bombs exploded in the city of Al Hillah outside a textiles factory; the bombings came as workers were leaving the factory, which increased the death toll.
An hour later, with emergency responders on the scene, a fourth car bomb exploded. In total, 50 people were killed in the four explosions. A factory worker said that “[w]hen I heard the explosions, I rushed outside and saw the massive damage–there were bodies everywhere, people were crying and screaming.”
In the southern city of Basra, three separate car bombs in two locations occurred between 1800 and 1900 local time (1500 to 1600 UTC). The attacks were at two markets in central Basra, and killed a total of around 20 people.
Another car bombing in the city of Suwayrah, around 40 miles southeast of Baghdad, killed 11 people and wounded 70 more. According to a police official in the city, there were two bombings, both near the city’s mosque.
There were also four other scattered attacks around the country in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, Mosul, in the north of Iraq, Iskandiriyah, south of Baghdad, and outside of Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad. In total, these attacks killed twelve more people.
According to a government spokesman in Baghdad, more than 20 total attacks occurred in the country, and were targeted at both the military and civilians. The attacks are also seen as emphasizing the ability of insurgent groups in Iraq to continue to be able to attack on a large scale, despite government efforts to increase security in the country, as well as the killings and arrests of numerous extremist leaders in recent months.