x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Car bombs, shooting in Iraq kill 17

Car bombs struck Shiite neighbourhoods of the Iraqi capital and a northern city yesterday, killing 16 people, while gunmen in Baghdad shot dead the brother of a Sunni MP, officials said.

Two car bombs exploded in busy markets in Sadr City, north-eastern Baghdad, killing at least 11 people and wounding another 18.
Two car bombs exploded in busy markets in Sadr City, north-eastern Baghdad, killing at least 11 people and wounding another 18.

BAGHDAD // Car bombs struck Shiite neighbourhoods of the Iraqi capital and a northern city yesterday, killing 16 people, while gunmen in Baghdad shot dead the brother of a Sunni MP, officials said.

The attacks followed a wave of bombings Wednesday that killed 33 people in mainly in Shiite neighbourhoods and raised concerns over a return to the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq.

Baghdad police said the first of yesterday's bombings hit a bus and taxi stop during the morning rush hour in the city's eastern Sadr City neighbourhood. Nine people were killed, including a 7-year-old child, and 16 were wounded in that attack, two officers said.

Another car bomb hit a small market at a taxi stop in Baghdad's eastern suburb of Kamaliya, killing three civilians and wounding 14 others there.

In the capital's northern Chikok district, two civilians were killed and 10 were wounded when a car bomb missed a police patrol that was passing through, police said.

In the northern city of Mosul, a suicide attacker rammed his car into an army checkpoint, killing two soldiers and wounding three others. The attack came just after a car bombing in another area of Mosul wounded two civilians, said a police official. Mosul is located 360 kilometres north-west of Baghdad.

The brother of a Sunni legislator was killed in a drive-by shooting and two of his guards were wounded in Baghdad's southwestern neighbourhood of Baiyaa.

Four medical officials in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Iraq's embattled Shiite prime minister Nouri Al Maliki on Thursday blamed sectarian tensions for the latest attacks.

"We have to know that today's bloodshed is the result of sectarian hatred and also the result of a stirring up of these sectarian tensions," Mr Al Maliki said during a government-organised conference about atrocities committed under Saddam Hussein.

Incitement could be coming from inside or outside the country, Mr Al Maliki added.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.