At least 20 people have been killed and scores of others injured in a wave of bombings and shooting incidents across Iraq on Thursday, according to reports citing local officials.
The deadliest of attacks was a car bombing at a market in the predominantly Shiite district of Washash in capital Baghdad. At least eight people were killed in the explosion, which also left more than 20 others injured.
Two other car bombings were reported in the Shatie al-Taji area, north of Baghdad. The casualties in those attacks are still not clear. Nevertheless, local media indicated that at least 2 people were killed in the explosions.
Also on Thursday, a car bomb attack targeting a government building in the predominantly Sunni city of Taji, located some 12 miles north of Baghdad, killed at least four and wounded 20 others. Meanwhile, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed one and wounded five in the Shiite neighborhood of Abu Dsheer in southern Baghdad.
Several such bomb attacks on both civilian and security targets were reported across Iraq, but are yet to be confirmed by Iraqi officials. In addition, some shootings were also reported in the north and south of the country, including one which targeted a checkpoint manned by government-backed Awakening Council group members in the city of Samarra.
The shooting in Samarra resulted in the death of at least two members of the Awakening Council, which is government-backed Sunni Arab fighters who turned against Iraq's al Qaeda militants in late 2006. The attackers managed to escape after the incident.
In another shooting in southern city of Fallujah, some 30 miles west of Baghdad, a policeman was killed and at least three members of his family were injured. Another policeman was killed in a car bomb attack in the city.
Although violence has dropped across Iraq in recent years, the war-ravaged country still witnesses such attacks, mostly sectarian in nature, on a regular basis. Such incidents increased drastically after U.S. combat forces left the country.
It is estimated that more than 200 people have now been killed in Iraq in such attacks since June 13. This makes June the second bloodiest month this year after January, when at least 255 people were killed. Thursday was the bloodiest day in Iraq since the withdrawal of US combat forces late last year.
The last of U.S. combat troops left Iraq by the end of December, ending a decade-long American military presence since the 2001 invasion of the Middle East nation. The troop pullout was in line with a bilateral security agreement that required the withdrawal of all American troops from the country by the end of 2011.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org