The Baghdad area was hit with the third major attack in four days as bombs were detonated in residential areas of the capital, killing 35 Iraqis and wounding scores more.
Terrorists planted bombs inside homes and apartment complexes in the Baghdad neighborhoods of Al Shula, Jakook, Allawi, Al Shurta Al Khamisa, and Al Aamel, Voices of Iraq reported. Most of the blasts took place in predominately Shia neighborhoods, although Allawi is a mixed Sunni and Shia neighborhood.
At least seven blasts were reported, while bomb disposal teams defused two devices. Thirty-five Iraqis have been killed and more than 140 have been wounded, an anonymous Interior Ministry official told Voices of Iraq. The toll may rise, as more casualties are feared to be trapped in the rubble.
Today’s attacks follow the coordinated attacks on embassies in Baghdad on April 4 and a raid on a village in Baghdad province on April 3. The April 4 suicide attacks against the Egyptian, Iranian, Spanish, and German embassies killed 41 people and wounded more than 250. The April 3 raid, which took place in the Arab Jabour region just south of Baghdad, was carried out by terrorists dressed in Iraqi uniforms. In that attack, 25 persons, including anti-al Qaeda Awakening fighters, soldiers, and civilians, were bound and executed.
While no group has taken responsibility for the attacks, al Qaeda in Iraq is strongly suspected to have carried out the bombings in Baghdad and the executions in Arab Jabour. Al Qaeda in Iraq has conducted similar attacks in the past in an attempt to stoke sectarian violence between minority Sunnis and majority Shia.
Al Qaeda in Iraq’s founder, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who was killed in a US strike in June 2007, had insisted that al Qaeda’s best chance at destroying the Iraqi government and imposing an Islamic state was to fan the sectarian flames. Zarqawi made the argument to al Qaeda’s central leadership that the Shia must be viciously targeted, even if it meant a full blown war against the Shia.
“I come back and again say that the only solution is for us to strike the religious, military and other cadres among the Shia with blow after blow until they bend to the Sunnis,” Zarqawi said in a letter to Osama bin Laden. The letter was written by Zarqawi in 2004 and intercepted by US intelligence.
Al Qaeda in Iraq has been at the vanguard of sectarian attacks against both Sunni and Shia, and almost succeeded in plunging Iraqi into a civil war in 2006.
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