Bomb attack kills 52 in Iraq

January 15, 2014

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People gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Ghazaliya district, January 15, 2014. — Photo Reuters
People gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Ghazaliya district, January 15, 2014. — Photo Reuters

BAGHDAD: Bomb attacks hit the Iraqi capital Baghdad and a village near the northern town of Baquba on Wednesday, killing at least 52 people, police and hospital sources said.

In the deadliest incident, a bomb blew up in a funeral tent where mourners were marking the death two days ago of a Sunni Muslim pro-government militiaman, police said. It killed 18 people and wounded 16 in Shatub, a village south of Baquba.

Two years after US troops left Iraq, violence has climbed back to its highest levels since the Sunni-Shia bloodshed of 2006-2007, when tens of thousands of people were killed.

Al Qaeda-linked militants are pursuing a campaign of attacks, mostly directed at state targets, Shia civilians and Sunnis seen as loyal to the Shia-led government.

Half a dozen car bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, mostly in Shia districts, killing 34 people and wounding 71, police and medics said.

The violence occurred amid a continuing standoff between the Iraqi army and Sunni militants who overran the city of Falluja west of Baghdad more than two weeks ago in a challenge to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.