Toll rises as Iraq attacks continue

At least 38 people were killed or found dead in bombings in Iraq on Saturday, taking the Iraqi death toll this week to almost 500 people.

Toll rises as Iraq attacks continue

At least 38 people were killed or found dead in bombings in Iraq onSaturday, taking the Iraqi death toll this week to almost 500 people.

The weekly death toll rose after Iraqi police announcedthat Tuesday's truck bombing in Tal Afar, northwest of Iraq, killed152 people, making it the deadliest single attack since the war began.



In the capital, Baghdad,a car bomb killed five people and wounded 22 outside al-Sadr hospital in Sadr City,police said.

Police also said a car bomb near aservice station in the city of Hilla killed fourpeople, including two policemen, and wounded 20 people 100km south of Baghdad.



A suicide car bomb targetingworkers has killed two people and wounded 11 in the town of Tuz Khurmato, 70km south of Kirkuk,the local police chief said.

Also, in the largely Shia town of Suweira, south of Baghdad,three civilians were killed and seven wounded in a roadside bomb explosion.

Tal Afar

The Iraqi interior ministry has raised the death toll in theTuesday truck bombing in Tal Afar, a mainly Shia city in northwest of Iraq, to152, making it the deadliest single attack since the war began four years ago.

Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a ministry spokesman, said on Saturdaythat more than 70 additional bodies had been found in the marketplace rubble.

Colonel Ibrahim Al-Jubori, the new police chief in Tal Afar,reported his force had found four more victims of apparent Shia revenge attackson Sunni men on Tuesday.

The bodies were shot multiple times and showed signs oftorture, he said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Malcom Frost, commander of US forces inTal Afar, said: "We're still doing rubble removal so there could still bebodies buried."


In other news, the Iraqi government has endorsed plans torelocate thousands of Arabs who were moved to oil-rich Kirkuk as part of campaign by Saddam Husseinto displace ethnic Kurds, a cabinet minister said on Saturday. 

Hashim al-Shebli, the Iraqi justice minister, said thecabinet agreed on Thursday to a study group's recommendation that Arabs who hadmoved to Kirkuk from other parts of Iraq after July14, 1968, should be returned to their original towns and paid for theirtrouble.

Tens of thousands of Kurds and non-Arabs fled Kirkuk in the 1980s and1990s when Saddam's government implemented its "Arabisation" policy.Kurds and non-Arabs were replaced with pro-government Arabs from the mainlyShia impoverished south.

Voluntary transfer

Al-Shebli, who had overseen the committee on Kirkuk's status, saidrelocation would be voluntary. Those who choose to leave will be paid 20million Iraqi dinars ($15,000) and given land in their former hometowns.

He said: "There will be no coercion and the decisionwill not be implemented by force."

Ali Baban, the planning minister, said the cabinet decisionin favour of the relocation recommendations was adopted over the opposition ofSunni Arab members of the Shia-led government.

"We demanded that the question of Kirkuk be resolved through dialogue betweenthe political blocs and not through the committee," he said earlier thisweek.

"They say the repatriation is voluntary, but we haveour doubts."

Resignation offer

Al-Shebli, a Sunni Arab, also confirmed he had offered hisresignation on the same day that the cabinet signed off on the plan.

He cited differences with the government and his ownpolitical group, the secular Iraqi List, which joined Sunni Arab politicians onSaturday in opposing the Kirkukdecision.

He said he would continue in office until the cabinetapproved his resignation.

"I have differences with the government on one side andwith the parliamentary bloc on another." 

The Iraqi List is led by Iyad Allawi, the former primeminister, a secular Shia.

The group holds 25 seats in the 275-seat parliament.

Military deaths

Figures complied by The Associated Press have shown that theUSmilitary death toll in March, the first full month of the security crackdown,was nearly twice that of the Iraqi army.

American and Iraqi officials say the Iraqi army has beentaking more of a leading role than the USin the latest attempt to curb violence in many cities in Iraq.

The AP count of US military deaths for the month was 81,including a soldier who died from non-combat causes on Saturday.

Figures compiled from officials in the Iraqi ministries ofdefence, health and the interior showed the Iraqi military toll was 44.

Iraqi figures showed that 165 Iraqi police were killed inMarch. Many of the police serve in paramilitary units.

According to the AP count 3,246 USservice members have died in Iraqsince the war began in March 2003.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16