Dozens Killed in Latest Iraq Violence
Dozens of people have been killed in the latest wave of violence to sweep Iraq, with numerous bomb blasts rocking Baghdad and attacks killing many in the cities of Mosul and Fallujah on Tuesday.
Al Jazeera reports Tuesday’s attacks are the latest in a long wave of violence that has left more than 4,200 Iraqis dead so far this year, the most violent year in the war-torn nation since 2008.
Car bombs rocked various Baghdad neighborhoods, including predominantly Shia areas in the central and northeastern parts of the city, on Tuesday evening. Some 23 people were killed, most of them civilians; another 87 were reportedly injured.
Earlier on Tuesday, a provincial administrator was shot dead in the capital.
Three suicide bombers attacked a police station in the city of Fallujah, a predominantly Sunni area that was a stronghold of Saddam Hussein loyalists prior to repeated US attacks in 2004.
Militants also attacked a minibus carrying government soldiers and policemen on their way to the northern city of Mosul, killing six of them in a town about 30 miles (50 km) south of the city.
Another government soldier was killed in a separate attack in Mosul.
Iraqi officials could not say for certain who was behind the wave of attacks, but the bombings targeted mostly Shia areas. Sunni militants, some linked to al-Qaeda, have been stepping up attacks in recent months to levels unseen in years.
The ongoing civil war in neighboring Syria, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past two years, has inflamed existing sectarian strife in Iraq, which also suffered the loss of more than 100,000 lives during the 2003-2011 US-led invasion and occupation and its aftermath. While sectarian violence was kept under control by the brutal tyrant Saddam Hussein during his nearly quarter century of rule, his regime’s ouster ushered in an ongoing era of Sunni-Shia violence that has claimed thousands of lives.
The US-led invasion and occupation may have ousted Hussein, but his regime gave way to one in which arbitrary killings, torture and corruption are rampant. It’s not only Sunni-Shia violence that plagues Iraq; Christians and Jews have been the targets of genocidal violence. These and other serious problems– like a devastated infrastructure and health care system and the toxic poisoning of humans and theenvironment— persist more than a decade after US and allied forces ‘liberated’ Iraqis from Hussein.