x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Iraq's day of carnage leaves dozens dead

Wave of attacks and car bombings in 11 cities across Iraq kills at least 75 people and wounds nearly 300.

Iraqi security personnel inspect the site of a car bomb attack outside a French consular building in Nassiriya, 300km south of Baghdad.
Iraqi security personnel inspect the site of a car bomb attack outside a French consular building in Nassiriya, 300km south of Baghdad.

BAGHDAD // At least 75 people were killed and nearly 300 wounded in a wave of attacks against Iraqi security forces in at least 11 cities yesterday.

Insurgents gunned down soldiers at an army post and bombed police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks but security forces are a frequent target of Al Qaeda's Iraq branch.

In the deadliest attack, gunmen stormed a small Iraqi army outpost in the town of Dujail before dawn, killing at least 11 soldiers and wounding eight, according to police and hospital officials in the nearby city of Balad, about 80 kilometres north of Baghdad.

Hours later, a car bomb went off nect to a group of police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs with the state-run Northern Oil Co outside the northern city of Kirkuk. At least eight people were killed and 29 injured. City police commander Brig Gen Sarhad Qadir said the recruits who died were all Sunni Muslims. He blamed the early-morning attack on Al Qaeda but did not provide further details.

Elsewhere, a car bomb near a kindergarten centre about 90km east of Tikrit, near the town of Tuz Khurmatu, killed two policemen and a civilian, and wounded 20 people.

Three car bombs hit mainly Shiite districts in Baghdad, killing at least 15 people.

The carnage stretched into the country's south, where bombs stuck to two parked cars exploded in the Shiite-dominated city of Nasiriyah, 320km south-east of Baghdad. The blasts happened near the French consulate and a hotel, although the consulate did not appear to be the target.

In the capital's eastern Shiite neighborhood of Husseniyah, roadside bombs killed a policeman and a passer-by.

A pair of car bombs in southern Maysan province killed five people and wounded 40 outside a Shiite shrine to Imam Ail Al Sharqi.

A roadside bomb in Taji, just north of Baghdad, left two passers-by dead and 11 injured.

nlatif@thenational.ae

* With additional reporting by the Associated Press and Reuters