Al Qaeda in Iraq carried out another coordinated mass-casualty terror attack in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
More than 120 Iraqis were killed and more than 200 were wounded when three suicide bombers and two car bombs were detonated in locations throughout Baghdad. The targets of the attacks were a bank, a police patrol, a court complex, a mosque, and a market neighborhood near the Interior Ministry.
A police patrol was the first target hit in the attack, which began around 10:00 a.m. local time, The New York Times reported. Three police and six civilians were killed in the blast, which took place near a technical college in Baghdad.
Another blast targeted the headquarters of the Rafaidyan Bank. Many employees from the Interior Ministry were based there, following the al Qaeda hit at the ministry headquarters in an August attack.
The bombing at the federal appeals court complex killed dozens of Iraqis, including several judges. “The building was 100 percent devastated,” Judge Abdulsattar al Berqdar told Voices of Iraq.
Today’s attack in Baghdad was the third major terrorist event in the capital since August. Al Qaeda in Iraq took credit for the Aug. 19 attack outside of Iraqi government buildings that killed more than 120 Iraqis, and the Oct. 25 attack on foreign and finance ministry buildings that killed more than 130.
The Iraqi government has blamed al Qaeda in Iraq and former Baathists based in Syria for the previous attacks.
Recently, the top US military commander in Iraq said that al Qaeda in Iraq has “transformed significantly” and has begun to work more closely with former Baathist groups that still are fighting the Iraqi government and US forces.
“Al Qaeda in Iraq has transformed significantly in the last two years,” General Raymond Odierno told reporters in Baghdad last week. “What once was dominated by foreign individuals has now become more and more dominated by Iraqi citizens.”
Al Qaeda in Iraq is thought to be carving out a haven in eastern Syria. Earlier this year, the central leadership in Pakistan dispatched Sheikh Issa al Masri to Syria to help Abu Khalaf to reorganize the network and conduct strikes against US and Iraqi forces.
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