Terrorists turn Eid holidays bloody for Baghdad

Terrorists turn Eid holidays bloody for Baghdad
Thu Oct 17, 2013 22:15:57

A wave of car bomb and suicide attacks has taken some 51 lives in the Iraqi capital, leaving families mourning loss of their beloveds instead of celebrating the Eid al-Adha holidays.

Authorities reported seven car bomb explosions across Baghdad, including one near a playground that killed two children.

Iraq is weathering its deadliest outburst of violence since 2008.

The bloodshed began early Thursday when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car among houses in an ethnic minority village in northern Iraq.

That attack, in the Shabak village of al-Mouafaqiyah near the restive city of Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, killed at least 15 and wounded 52, police said.

The United Nations envoy to Iraq condemned the attack and said rising violence in Ninevah province requires "urgent action and strengthened security cooperation" between regional authorities and the central government.

"The United Nations pays particular attention to the protection of minority communities who continue suffering from heinous attacks (and) economic and social barriers," envoy Nickolay Mladenov said.

Another suicide bomber struck hours later, setting off an explosives belt inside a cafe in Tuz Khormato, killing three and wounding 28, police chief Col. Hussein Ali Rasheed said.

The town, a frequent flashpoint for violence, sits in a band of territory contested by Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad.

The attacks struck as Muslims around the world this week mark the religious holiday of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice. It is often a time for family celebrations and outings.

The Baghdad explosions went off in quick succession as families were heading out to parks, coffee shops and restaurants in the evening, police said.

Back-to-back car bombs exploded about two blocks away from each other in the neighborhood of Husseiniyah, killing a total of 11 and wounding 22, authorities said.

Other neighborhoods hit were the southeastern New Baghdad, where four died and 12 were wounded, and the eastern Sadr City, where a bomb near a playground killed five, including two children, and wounded 16, officials said.

Police also reported that a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a police checkpoint in the southern district of Dora, killing five people, including three police officers, and wounding nine.

Two parked car bombs exploded near an outdoor market and shops in the neighborhood of Garage al-Amana, killing eight and wounding 15, officials said.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties.

The UN reported 979 people killed violently in Iraq last month. More than 300 more people have died in attacks in Iraq so far this month, according to an Associated Press count.

SHI/SHI

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