Wave of Bombings Across Iraqi Capital Kills At Least 57
BAGHDAD – A wave of violence ripped across Baghdad on Thursday morning, killing at least 57 people and injuring nearly 200 in a coordinated attack designed to wreak havoc in the Iraqi capital just days after American forces left the country.
The blasts were the worst violence since a political crisis between Iraq‘s Sunni and Shiite factions erupted this weekend. The political spat, which pits Iraq’s Shiite prime minister against the highest-ranking Sunni political leader, has raised fears that Iraq’s sectarian wounds will be reopened during a fragile time when Iraq is finally navigating its own political future without U.S. military support.
Iraqi officials said at least 12 blasts went off early Thursday morning in nine neighborhoods around the city. The explosions ranged from blasts from sticky bombs attached to cars to roadside bombs and vehicles packed with explosives.
Most of the attacks appeared to hit Shiite neighborhoods although some Sunni areas were also targeted.
The spokesman for the Iraqi health ministry put the death toll at 49 people and said at least 167 people were also injured. He did not have a breakdown of where the dead and injured were killed.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the morning’s violence. But the coordinated nature of the assault and the fact that the attacks took place in numerous neighborhoods suggested a planning capability only available to Al Qaeda in Iraq.
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