A wave of explosions rocked mainly Shiite neighbourhoods in Baghdad shortly after sunset on Monday, killing at least 24 people and wounding dozens more, officials said.
The attacks, three carried out by parked explosives-laden cars and one by a separate bomb, hit crowded commercial areas near Shiite mosques.
In Monday’s deadliest attack, a minibus packed with explosives blew up at a bus station in the mainly Shiite district of Ur in northern Baghdad, killing at least 11 people, according to police and medical sources.
“The parked minibus inside the garage raised suspicions and when drivers started shouting for its driver, it exploded,” said bus driver Farah Abbas. “Many people were thrown back by the blast and vehicles caught fire.”
A further nine people were killed in car bomb attacks targeting mosques in Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite districts of Amil and Karrada, police and medical sources said.
A car bomb near a busy street in Baghdad’s western district of Ghazaliya killed four others. In separate incidents in the city of Tikrit, gunmen shot dead a police colonel and a barber inside his shop.
The army on Monday was fighting to wrest control of Sulaiman Pek from Sunni militants who took over parts of the northern town last Thursday and raised the black flag of the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) over it.
ISIL is active in the civil war in neighbouring Syria and is also present in the city of Falluja, which has been under siege by the army since Jan. 1, when militants took over.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, Reuters)
Date created : 2014-02-17