Dozens Killed, Scores Injured In Wave Of Bombings In Baghdad
Mark Memmott
Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 7:10 AM
Font size: A | A | A | A |

It's been a terrible day in Baghdad. There were at least 16 explosions in 13 different locations. Most were in predominantly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods.

   
Iraqi security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad earlier today (Dec. 22, 2011). It was one in a wave of such bombings in the Iraqi capital today.
Iraqi security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad earlier today (Dec. 22, 2011). It was one in a wave of such bombings in the Iraqi capital today.
Hadi Mizban | AP

It's been a terrible day in Baghdad, where at least 16 explosions in 13 different locations have killed dozens of people and left about 200 wounded, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from the Iraqi capital.

He told Morning Edition host Renee Montagne that the "parked car bombs, suicide car bombs" and improvised explosive devices that all went off between 7 and 8 a.m. local time appeared to target civilians — an ominous contrast to the pattern in recent months of violence aimed at security forces.

In addition, Sean said, 12 of the attacks happened in predominantly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods — which could be a sign of renewed hostility between Sunnis and Shiites in the country.

This comes, of course, less than a week after the departure of the last American combat troops after nearly nine years in the country.

As happens in situations such as this when authorities are still gathering information, accounts vary on the number of people killed and injured. The Associated Press writes that at least 57 people died and "nearly 200" were hurt. The BBC is saying at least 63 people were killed and 185 injured. Al-Jazeera also reports at least 63 deaths, and has the number wounded at 176.

The one thing for certain: the toll is high and the attacks have raised concern that more such violence is to come.

As the AP notes:

"The blasts ... came on the heels of a political crisis between Iraq's Sunni and Shiite factions that erupted this weekend. The political spat, which pits Iraq's Shiite prime minister against the highest-ranking Sunni political leader, has raised fears that Iraq's sectarian wounds will be reopened during a fragile time when Iraq is finally navigating its own political future without U.S. military support.

"While the string of explosions was likely not a direct response to the political Sunni-Shiite confrontation, it will ratchet up tensions at a time when many Iraqis are already worried about security. If continued, it could lead to the same type of tit-for-tat attacks that characterized the insurgency years ago."

[Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]



This article is filed in: World News, Home Page Top Stories, News

Also in World News  
EU Human Rights Court Could Be Last Stop For German Claiming CIA Kidnapping
Khaled El-Masri says he was mistakenly flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan by the CIA.

Civilians Flee, Soldiers Dig In On Sudanese Frontier
The U.N. is threatening both Sudans with sanctions if they can't reverse their escalating feud.

How To Address France's New, Unmarried First Lady
France's new president was inaugurated Tuesday, and he's moving into the presidential palace with his longtime "companion." Host Michel Martin and the Beauty Shop ladies weigh in on political protocol when it comes to heads of state, politicians and their unmarried significant others.

At Trial, Serb Gen. Mladic Taunts Survivors With Throat-Cutting Gesture
Charged with 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, he remains defiant.

Atlanta Opens New International Terminal
Officials hope the facility means more international businesses will choose to locate in Georgia.

Comments  
Post a Comment