April 16, 2013
Officials said bombings hit 12 different areas, leaving 55 people dead and making Monday the country’s deadliest day since March 19, AFP reported.
The capital Baghdad and the surrounding area have seen 10 casualties, while the oil-rich Kirkuk, where tensions over resources have particularly spiked, has lost nine of its residents. The western Sunni city of Fallujah, the former Al-Qaeda stronghold of Baqouba and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, also sustained attacks.
Most of Monday’s deadly explosions were car bombings, including two blasts at Baghdad airport.
“Two vehicles managed to reach the entrance of Baghdad airport and were left parked there. While we were doing routine searches, the two cars exploded seconds apart. Two passengers travelling to the airport were killed,” a police source said, cited Reuters.
Witnesses blamed authorities for being unable to provide adequate security: “I blame those who call themselves politicians in government [and] the security forces… for this bad security situation. They are doing nothing to help the people, and are only looking out for their benefits,” said Qassim Saad, a Baghdad teacher who witnessed one of the blasts.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings yet, but the attacks bear a strong Iraqi Al-Qaeda signature.
The aftermath of the US-led invasion and departure from the country has left a growing instability, and has exacerbated inter-tribal and inter-ethnic conflicts. The situation has worsened recently, with Sunni insurgents violently opposing the Shia-led government, and drawing support from the al-Nusra Front rebels fighting in Syria.
AP says some Iraqi officials have pointed to the insurgents’ increase in coordination and cooperation with extremists fighting in Syria to topple President Bashar Assad. Iraqi militants have also been arming themselves through the now-highly-insecure Syria-Iraq border. A reported 270 Iraqis were killed in insurgent attacks in March alone.
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