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Middle east

Sunnis, Shia trade blame over deadly truck bombings

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-21

Shia politicians and Iraq's leading Sunni insurgency group are trading mutual accusations over the massive truck bombings that killed 95 people in Baghdad on Wednesday in what was the country's bloodiest single day in 18 months.

AFP - Powerful Shiite politicians and Iraq's leading Sunni insurgency group on Friday accused each other of being responsible for massive truck bombings in Baghdad that killed 95 people two days ago.
   
Separate statements from both sides exposed the gulf between the country's two main Muslim groups in the wake of Wednesday's attacks at the ministries of finance and foreign affairs, which also left about 600 people wounded.
   
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, on Wednesday said the bombings were "a desperate attempt to derail the political process and affect the parliamentary elections," planned to take place in January 2010.
   
A statement from the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, a powerful and influential Shiite party close to Iran, said the country was facing "comprehensive war" and not only "simple bombings here and there."
   
It blamed Sunnis who once formed the backbone of toppled dictator Saddam Hussein's regime for the attacks.
   
"The remains of the former Saddam regime who are accusing Shiites of being unbelievers are continuing their crimes against innocent Iraqis, revealing their criminal plans against people's freedom and dignity," it said.
   
"Those attacks are clear evidence that there is a studied plan aim to kill more innocent Iraqis and destroy the wealth of Iraq," the statement added.
   
The Islamic Army in Iraq, seen as the country's leading Sunni insurgent outfit and which includes army officers from the Saddam era, laid the blame for the attacks with the Baghdad government and US forces.
   
"We accuse the occupation forces, the government, political blocs whose militias are fighting between each other, in executing the attacks," said the insurgents' statement.
   
"The Islamic Army in Iraq always condemns all the attacks targeting innocent people.
   
"The series of attacks took place in Baghdad confirm that some factions in government and the political process want to build a state full of sectarianism and division."
   
Wednesday's truck bombings signalled the country's worst day of violence in 18 months, prompting outrage among Iraqis at security failings that had allowed the bombers to commit their atrocities.
   
Iraq on Thursday arrested 11 police, army and intelligence chiefs after the government admitted that trucks of the size involved in the bombings should never have been allowed to pass checkpoints that lead to central Baghdad.
 

Date created : 2009-08-21

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