Four explosions rocked the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 36 people and prompting fears that sectarian violence was continuing following last week's bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine. In northern Iraq, a blast badly damaged a Sunni mosque where the father of Saddam Hussein is buried. The deposed leader was due back in court as his trial was to resume in the 1982 killings of nearly 150 people in the town of Dujail.
In the Baghdad violence, a car bomb detonated near a Shiite mosque in the crowded southeastern Karada neighborhood, killing four people and injuring 16, said Interior Ministry official Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi. The vehicle was parked opposite a mosque which was closed for repairs, police said. Another car bomb targeting a police patrol in the eastern New Baghdad neighborhood killed eight people and injured 10 — all civilians, said police Col. Ahmed Aboud. A man wearing an explosives belt blew himself up at a gas station in the same neighborhood, killing three people and wounding four, said police Capt. Haidir Ibrahim.
The fourth blast took place in an open area near the downtown national theater, Mohammedawi said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Sectarian clashes had declined sharply since the bloodletting that followed the destruction of the Shiite shrine in Samarra on Wednesday. Baghdad residents had returned to their jobs after three days of a government-imposed curfew.
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in Ankara
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in Ankara, called on Iraqi leaders to work together and avoid provocations to defuse the violence that threatens to create unrest in the region. "The Iraqi issue is of vital importance," Erdogan said. "Turkey fervently wants the environment of conflict and violence to be eliminated and for the common sense to take its place."
Crying relatives, meanwhile, went to Baghdad's main morgue to collect the bodies of family members killed in the spasm of violence in the past week. Many of the mourners were women dressed in black who beat their breasts as they wailed in grief. One young man, who refused to give his name, told an AP reporter his three brothers had gone out to buy bread Saturday night and were gunned down in a drive-by attack.
So far, officials at the morgue said 249 bodies had been brought to the facility since Wednesday. The Interior Ministry had only confirmed 216 deaths since the shrine attack, but it relies on death certificates from around the country and the process can be slow.
The Washington Post: 1,300 Iraqis had been killed
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that more than 1,300 Iraqis had been killed since the shrine attack. Elsewhere in Iraq, the U.S. military said an American soldier of the Multinational Division-Baghdad was killed by small arms fire Monday west of Baghdad. The death brought to at least 2,292 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians.
Two British soldiers were also killed in Amarah, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, the Defense Ministry reported in London, but gave no other details. A witness said a car bomb targeted a British patrol and helicopters were seen taking away casualties.
Iraqi soldiers found the bullet-riddled bodies of nine people near two burned minibuses in Iraq's strife-prone Diyala province, police said. The victims included Sheik Hamid Irbat Ghazi, a Sunni Muslim of the influential Mahamdeh tribe, and two of his nephews, police said.
Attack on Saddam Father's Grave
In Tikrit, near Saddam's birthplace north of Baghdad, a bomb blast damaged a dome and blew out the doors and windows at the Hussein al-Majid mosque, which houses his father's grave, police Capt. Qais Abdul-Majid said. The Defense Ministry said Iraqi security forces have killed 35 insurgents and arrested 487 people, including a senior al-Qaida in Iraq figure, in raids across the country since last week's shrine attack.
The captured al-Qaida figure was identified as Abou al-Farouq, a Syrian who financed and coordinated groups working for Iraq's most wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, according to an Interior Ministry officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to address the media.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16