Over 55 killed in Iraq violence

23 Apr 2007


BAGHDAD, April 22: Car bombs killed 18 people in Baghdad on Sunday and gunmen shot dead 23 workers after pulling them off a minibus in Iraq's northern city of Mosul.

South of Baghdad, the US military said it carried out air strikes on a known al Qaeda meeting location, killing 15 militants. Ground forces later killed another three militants in the operation, the military said in a statement.

Among the attacks in Baghdad, two suicide car bombers rammed their vehicles into a police station, killing 12 people and wounding 95, police said.

It was one of the deadliest bombings aimed at Iraq's security forces since a US-backed security crackdown was launched in Baghdad two months ago. Most of the dead were civilians, police said.

The blasts damaged the police station and also largely destroyed a garage next door, collapsing rubble onto a dozen cars.

“Look at the situation Iraqis are living in. You see blasts whenever you try to go out to earn a living,” said one witness.

In a separate attack, a car bomb in the neighbourhood of Saidiya in southern Baghdad killed six civilians and wounded 37 people, police said.

In Mosul, gunmen killed 23 textile workers from the minority Yazidi sect after forcing them out of a minibus.

Brigadier-General Mohammed al-Waggaa said the gunmen stopped the vehicle and gunned down the workers. A source at a local hospital said 23 were killed. Waggaa said the mass killing appeared to be in retaliation for an incident in which a Yazidi woman was stoned to death several weeks ago for converting to Islam.

Yazidis are members of an ancient minority sect and live in northern Iraq and Syria.—Reuters