Iraq bombings, house raids leave 40 dead
October 29, 2012, 12:13 am TWN
BAGHDAD -- Iraqi insurgents unleashed a string of bombings and other attacks primarily targeting the country's Shiite community on Saturday, leaving at least 40 dead in a challenge to government efforts to promote a sense of stability by preventing attacks during a major Muslim holiday.
The bloodshed appeared to be the worst in Iraq since Sept. 9, when insurgents launched a wave of bombings and other attacks that left at least 92 dead.
The attacks underscored the difficulties facing the country's leadership as it struggles to keep its citizens safe. Authorities had increased security in hopes of preventing attacks during the four-day Eid al-Adha celebrations, when people are off work and families gather in public places.
The deadliest attacks struck in the evening in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City. Police said a car packed with explosives blew up near a market, killing 12 people and wounding 27. Half an hour later, a second car bomb went off in one of Sadr city's bus stations, killing 10 and injuring 31.
Earlier in the day, a bomb exploded near playground equipment that had been set up for the holiday in a market on the capital's outskirts in the eastern neighborhood of Bawiya. Police officials said eight people were killed, including four children.
"Nobody expected this explosion because our neighborhood has been living in peace, away from the violence hitting the rest of the capital," said Bassem Mohammed, a 35-year-old father of three in the neighborhood who was startled by the blast.
Elsewhere, a bomb attached to a bus carrying Iranian Shiite pilgrims killed five people and wounded nine, according to police.
Iraqi authorities say twin bombings near a market southeast of Baghdad have killed three people and wounded eight others. Police say the simultaneous attacks Sunday morning took place in Madain as shoppers started to arrive.
Madain is 20 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of Baghdad. The blasts followed a string of attacks that killed 40 people in the Iraqi capital.