x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

33 killed as Baghdad hit by bombings

Explosions strike eight neighbourhoods in the capital despite government claims that it is targeting and arresting insurgent groups.

Civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bombing in Baghdad.
Civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bombing in Baghdad.

BAGHDAD // A wave of car bombs hit the Iraqi capital yesterday, killing 33 people and wounding dozens, the latest attacks in a months-long surge in violence.

Attacks have been on the rise in Iraq since a deadly security crackdown in April on a Sunni protest camp. More than 3,000 people have been killed during the past few months.

In the deadliest of the blasts across Baghdad, police said one car bomb struck near a bus station in the northern Shiite neighbourhood of Khazimiyah, killing eight people and wounding 18.

Another car bomb exploded near a gathering of daily labourers in the Allawi area near the fortified Green Zone where government offices are located, killing six people and wounding 13.

In east Baghdad, seven people were killed and 15 others were wounded when a car bomb went off near a traffic-police office in the Baladiyat neighbourhood.

Also, a car bomb hit a row of shops in the Bab Al Muadham area, killing four people and wounding 12. In west Baghdad, a sticky bomb attached to a cart selling gas cylinders killed three people and wounded eight others.

A car bomb detonated near car-repair shops in the city's northeast suburb of Husseiniyah, killed four people and wounded 15, police said.

Mohammed Sabri, a retired government employee, was on his way to the market in Husseiniyah when he heard a thunderous explosion.

"I got closer and saw burning cars, two charred bodies and several people on the ground," he said. "Security officials keep telling us that their forces are able to protect us, but this has not happened yet."

And in the Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr city, a car bomb exploded near a line of shops, wounding seven people, police said.

In the south-east suburbs of Baghdad, a car bomb missed a police patrol but killed a civilian passer-by and wounded four others.

Medical officials in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figures. There was no claim of responsibility for the bombings.

The latest attacks came a day after the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Al Maliki, vowed to continue targeting and arresting insurgent groups. He said the government would "never give up confronting terrorism".

Iraqi forces have imposed tight security measures in and around the capital since two brazen jailbreaks in July, but so far these measures have failed to stop the attacks.