More than 60 Iraqis were killed and scores more were wounded in a wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq today that targeted Iraqi security forces and civilians, primarily Shia. The bombings took place in Baghdad, Hillah, Balad, and Mosul. From Reuters:
At least 32 people were killed in blasts in Baghdad where 10 explosions tore through mainly Shi’ite neighborhoods during rush hour and other attacks targeted police patrols, commuters and crowds gathered in shopping areas….
In Thursday’s violence, one car bomb in the capital killed at least nine people and wounded 27 in the upmarket Karrada neighborhood, hurling shrapnel into the next street and blowing out glass from nearby buildings.
Witnesses saw at four wrecked cars full of shrapnel and bloodied seats near an ice-cream shop at the site of another blast.
In at least three Shi’ite neighborhoods in Baghdad, nine policemen were killed, and in the capital’s northwestern Kadhimiya district, a car bomb killed six people when it struck a street lined with restaurants.
In the biggest attack outside the capital, a car bomb killed seven people and wounded 33 in the town of Balad, north of Baghdad.
Today’s attacks were clearly a show of force by al Qaeda in Iraq. The terror group is demonstrating that it can coordinate simultaneous attacks nationwide against multiple targets, even if it doesn’t control territory like it did before the surge of US and Iraqi forces in 2007.
Al Qaeda has now executed six mass-casualty attacks since the turn of the year, when the US military fully withdrew its forces from the country [see Threat Matrix report, Suicide bomber kills 19 outside Baghdad police academy]. In the last such attack, which took place four days ago, 19 Iraqi policemen and cadets were killed in a suicide bombing outside a training center in Baghdad.
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