x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Iraq in deadliest attack this year

Gunmen attack checkpoints and suicide bombers target shoppers in a marketplace as insurgents in Iraq kill at least 75 people and wound 100.

Twin car bombs targeting factory workers and an apparently coordinated series of attacks against security forces killed 75 people at the latest count in Iraq in the deadliest attack in the country this year. On Monday, two explosives-packed vehicles detonated minutes apart in the car park of a textiles factory in the central city of Hilla, 95 kilometres south of Baghdad. Shortly afterwards, a massive blast, which an interior ministry official said was a suicide bomber wearing an explosives-filled belt, engulfed the area as emergency service workers rushed to the scene to treat victims. The official said the explosions, which struck the State Company for Textile Industries at around 1:30 pm local time as workers were leaving, with as many as 140 wounded. "We received intelligence of car bombs targeting sites in Hilla, so we searched different parts of the city, and then we heard the explosions," said a police officer speaking on condition of anonymity. A hospital official in Hilla had earlier put the toll at 20 dead. The capital Baghdad was hit by a spate of shootings with automatic weapons against six police or army checkpoints in the east and west of the city, accounting for seven of the dead, the interior ministry official said. Two other policemen died in three bombings in south and west Baghdad. "The attacks started at 6:30 am and ended around 8:00 am," the official said, noting that nearly all of the wounded were security personnel. Monday's death toll was the highest since December 8, when 127 people were killed in five massive vehicle-borne bombs across the capital.

May 10 - A series of blasts and shootings across Iraq kills at least 75, including 40 in the Shiite city of Hillah, in Iraq's deadliest day so far this year. April 23 - A series blasts mainly targeting Shiite worshippers kill at least 72 people in Baghdad and Ramadi, west of the capital. April 6 -Bombs rip through apartment buildings and a market in Baghdad, killing at least 50 people. April 4 -Suicide attackers detonate car bombs near embassies in Baghdad, killing 42. April 2 -Gunmen kill 24 villagers execution-style in a Sunni area south of Baghdad. March 26 -Twin bombings strike a restaurant in Khalis, north of Baghdad, killing 57. March 7 -Series of bombings and rocket and mortar attacks kill 36 in Baghdad on Election Day. March 3 -Suicide bombers strike in quick succession in Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad, killing 32. Feb. 18 -Suicide car bomb explodes outside the main government compound in Ramadi, killing 13. Feb. 5 -Coordinated blasts targeting Shiite pilgrims in the holy city of Karbala kill 40. Feb. 1 -Female suicide bomber strikes Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing 54. Jan. 26 -Suicide car bomber strikes a police crime lab in Baghdad, killing 22. Jan. 25 -Suicide attacks hit several Baghdad hotels in well-planned assaults that kill 37. Dec. 8, 2009 -Coordinated attacks strike Baghdad, killing at least 127. Oct. 25, 2009 -Two powerful car bombs explode near government buildings in central Baghdad, killing at least 155. Aug. 19, 2009 -Suicide bombers hit the Finance and Foreign ministries, killing more than 100 people. * AFP and AP