Bombs, shootings kill at least 47 in Iraq: police
ReutersBAQUBA, Iraq--Car bombs, roadside bombs and shootings killed at least 47 people in Iraq on Sunday, police and medical sources said, as tensions intensify between Sunni and Shiite Muslims across the Middle East.
August 27, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Sunni Muslim insurgents and the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq have significantly increased their attacks this year. More than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in July, the highest monthly death toll since 2008, according to the United Nations.
More than two years of civil war in neighboring Syria have aggravated deep-rooted sectarian divisions and shaken Iraq's fragile coalition of Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni factions.
The renewed violence, eighteen months after the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, has sparked fears of a return to the large-scale sectarian slaughter of 2006 and 2007.
Iraqis have suffered extreme violence for years, but since the start of 2013 the intensity of attacks on civilians has dramatically increased. Bomb attacks have increasingly targeted cafes and other places where families gather, as well as the usual targets of military facilities and checkpoints.
The biggest of Sunday's attacks took place in central Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad when a car bomb blew up near a housing complex, killing at least 11 people and wounding 34, police said.
Earlier attacks included the killing of five soldiers in Qiyara town, some 290 km (180 miles) north of the Iraqi capital, when suspected militants ambushed two taxis taking soldiers from Baghdad to join their units in Mosul, military sources said.
“One of the cars escaped the ambush but the second one could not and the militants shot dead five soldiers and burned their bodies after they killed them,” a senior intelligence military officer, who declined to be named, said.
A medical source at the morgue in Mosul confirmed the soldiers' bodies had been burned.