Dawn News

Explosions kill 58 in Iraq, French consulate hit

Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad, September 9, 2012.—Reuters Photo

BAGHDAD: At least 58 people were killed in attacks across Iraq on Sunday, including a car bomb outside a French consulate.

The most serious of the bombings, blasts and shootings on Sunday happened near the city of Amara, 300 km south of Baghdad, when two car bombs exploded outside a Shia shrine and a market place, killing at least 16 people, officials said.

“So far 16 corpses were brought to the hospital, and more than 100 people were wounded,” said Sayid Hasanain, a local health official.

With its main hospital overflowing with injured from the attacks, mosques in Amara used prayer loudspeakers to call for blood donations.

Overnight in Dujail, 50 km north of Baghdad, gunmen and a suicide bomber driving a car attacked a military base, killing 11 soldiers and injuring seven, police said.

Later on Sunday, a car bomb killed eight people queuing for jobs as police guards for the Iraqi North Oil Company in the flashpoint city of Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad, police said.

Kirkuk was hit by several other blasts. A car bomb and a bomb packed into a motorcycle detonated outside a crime investigation office, killing seven and wounding 40.

More people were killed in several other blasts across the country, including in the towns of Baquba, Samarra, Basra and Tuz Khurmato.

French target

The car bomb that exploded outside the French consular building in the usually stable city of Nassiriya, 300 km south of Baghdad, killed a police guard and wounded four other guards, authorities said. The consul, an Iraqi citizen, was not at the office at the time of the attack.

Two other people were killed and three wounded by a separate car bomb in the city.

French diplomats have been hit before by violence in Iraq.

In June last year, a French embassy convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in Baghdad that wounded seven local Iraqi guards, one month after another embassy convoy was hit by an explosive device.

Since the last US troops left, insurgents have often hit high-profile targets, including Shia religious sites or local military or government offices, to show they can still carry out coordinated attacks and undermine the government’s claim to provide security.

Iraq’s local al Qaeda wing, Islamic State of Iraq, has claimed responsibility for other major attacks on security forces and Shia neighbourhoods. But former members of Saddam Hussein’s outlawed Baathist party and other Sunni Islamist groups are also fighting the government.

Infighting in Iraq’s delicate cross-sectarian government, and a resurgence of the al Qaeda wing, have raised fears of a return to widespread violence, especially as Iraq struggles to contain spillover from the growing conflict in Syria.

Comments (2) Closed

Hussain Naqvi
Sep 09, 2012 12:19pm
It is unfortunate for the country at large and a threat to the PM and his Government duly sposered by AhleYahood and Nasara through their planted agents in that country. The terrorists belonging to the last Takfiri Saddam are still there and they must reorganized them to topple the sitting Goverment. The PM of the country should take extreme steps to elimante the saddamies and his faithfuls for thestability of the country.
Sep 09, 2012 04:08pm
Serious loss of lives. International Conference on this topic needed. Unfortunately there is lack of sense, writers and scholars not addressing root causes, KARBALA incidence needs to discuss justly, all historical figures are the common ancestors of modern age people, their tenure be discussed honestly. Either all thoughts' religious scholars should have right to demonstrate their views in public or no one be allowed. Universities should not allow Sectarian functions having one sided view.