18 members of Shiite family killed in Iraq unrest
By Salam Faraj, AFPBAGHDAD--Attacks around Baghdad and north Iraq left 33 people dead on Wednesday, including 18 members of a Shiite family killed by militants, the latest in a nationwide surge of violence.
September 5, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The unrest came a day after a wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Baghdad and shootings and bombings elsewhere killed 61 people.
Authorities, meanwhile, announced the arrest of an alleged senior aide to Izzat al-Duri, the highest-ranking member of executed dictator Saddam Hussein's regime still on the run.
Wednesday's violence struck towns on the outskirts of Baghdad as well as predominantly Sunni cities in the north of the country, with the deadliest attack occurring south of the capital.
Shortly after midnight, militants bombed adjacent houses belonging to Shiite Muslim brothers in the town of Latifiyah, which lies about 40 kilometers south of Baghdad.
A total of 18 people were killed, including five women and six children, and a dozen others were wounded, according to an army officer and a doctor at a nearby hospital.
Latifiyah lies within a confessionally mixed region known as the “Triangle of Death,” so named for the brutal violence that plagued the area during the peak of Iraq's sectarian war in 2006-2007.
Last week, another attack on a Shiite family in the town killed at least five people.
No group claimed responsibility for the latest violence, but Sunni militants linked to al-Qaida frequently carry out attacks against Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority who they regard as apostates.
Separate attacks in Besmaya, Iskandiriyah and Tarmiyah, also on Baghdad's outskirts, killed nine people, including seven soldiers.
Bombings in two Sunni-majority cities north of the capital killed six people, including five policemen who died in a suicide car bombing against a police station in Mosul, one of Iraq's most restive cities.
The latest bloodshed came as Baghdad was still reeling from a wave of car bombs targeting Shiite neighborhoods the previous evening that killed 50 people, while unrest elsewhere left 11 others dead.
Among the attacks was a car bombing in the central commercial district of Karrada where four storefronts were badly damaged.
Workers were still picking up the pieces from the previous evening's violence on Wednesday.
At one restaurant, where windows were completely shattered by the blast, three men were consoling each other as they tried to clean up the aftermath of the attack.
“Please, we have cried enough,” one of them told another, before himself breaking into tears, while one of the men held up the clothes of a friend who died in the attack and shouted, “These are his clothes — what should I do with them?”