HEADLINES

Iraq: Jihad Continues To Decimate Its Own People – World Acts Shocked

By Alistair Reign, July 3, 2016. Alistair Reign News Blog.

To date, at least one-hundred-twenty-five (125) people have been killed, and around one-hundred-fifty (150) were injured in an explosion now claimed by the Islamic extremist group ‘Daesh” in Baghdad, Iraqi police say. The violent attack Saturday came after the bloodiest month in Iraq in five years, when tension arose between Sunnis and Shiites.

Several Sunnis accused Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s Shia-led government of politically marginalizing them since the ouster of leader Saddam Hussein.

“Earlier this week, at least 12 people were killed and 32 injured in another suicide attack west of Baghdad, where an attacker wearing a suicide vest targeted a Sunni mosque in Abu Ghraib.[01]

The mainly Shia area was busy with shoppers late at night because it is the holy month of Ramadan.

A second bomb also exploded at about midnight in a predominantly Shia area north of the capital, killing another five people.

Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi was met by angry crowds while visiting the scene on Sunday. He later declared three days of national mourning.

“The bombing in Karrada is the deadliest in Iraq this year and comes a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured the city of Falluja from Islamic State (IS) militants,” said BBC News. [02]

Police said the dead included at least fifteen (15) children and six (6) policemen. At least twelve (12) other people were missing, feared dead.

Iraqi firefighters and civilians carry bodies of victims killed in a car bomb at a commercial area in Karrada neighbourhood, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016

Iraqi firefighters and civilians carry bodies of victims killed in a car bomb at a commercial area in Karrada neighbourhood, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. (Photo: AP).

One senior Iraqi official warned that the death toll could rise still further.

In the first attack, a car bomb exploded in the Karada district in central Baghdad. Shortly afterward, an improvised explosive device went off in eastern Baghdad

In the first attack, a car bomb exploded in the Karada district in central Baghdad. Shortly afterward, an improvised explosive device went off in eastern Baghdad. (Photo: BBC).

The Daesh – the extremist group of violent barbarians who have unlawfully besieged 14-percent of Iraq – have released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack in the Karada district – boasting that their suicide car bomber targeted Shiites.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the second bombing that took place in eastern Baghdad, (at least not that I can find at the time this article was published).

“The Baghdad attacks come just over a week after Iraqi forces declared the city of Fallujah “fully liberated” from ISIS.

“Over the last year, Iraq forces have racked up territorial gains against ISIS, retaking the city of Ramadi and the towns of Hit and Rutba, all in Iraq’s vast Anbar province west of Baghdad. Despite the government’s battlefield victories, ISIS has repeatedly shown it remains capable of launching attacks far from the front-lines.” [03]

“At least eight people were also killed in two separate blasts in the city of Mosul, a largely Sunni city situated about 400 km (248 miles) north of Baghdad. Twelve others were wounded.

Tthe aftermath of the large explosion that hit Baghdad's central Karrada district.

The aftermath of the large explosion that hit Baghdad. July 3, 2016(Photo: GETTY).

“Another explosion took place in Tuz Khurmatou, a city about 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad and a melting pot of Arab, Kurd, and Turkmen residents. Here a suicide car bomber exploded on a commercial corridor, which resulted in the deaths of at least eight people. More than forty (40) people were wounded from the explosion.

“In Nasiriya, a region in southern Iraq heavily occupied by Shiites located 400 km outside of Baghdad, another car bomb killed four (4) people and wounded twelve (12) others.

“Meanwhile, two people were killed and 15 were wounded after a car bomb near a bus station in Karbala, a Shiite city about 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad” reports GB Times.  [04]

Iraqi firefighters extinguish a fire as civilians gather after a car bomb at a commercial area in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, July 3, 2016. Bombs went off early Sunday in two crowded commercial areas in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraqi firefighters extinguish a fire as civilians gather after a car bomb at a commercial area in Karada neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, July 3, 2016. Bombs went off early Sunday in two crowded commercial areas in Baghdad. (Photo: AP/ Hadi Mizban)

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor writes in his article:The destruction and death adds up to a clear message from the jihadists of so-called Islamic State. They are saying that even if they are defeated on the battlefield, they can still hit back where it really hurts – killing civilians in the centre of the Iraqi capital, and other capital cities, too.

“IS have just suffered a serious defeat at the hands of Iraqi forces in Falluja. The town, less than an hour’s drive from Baghdad, has been in their hands since early 2014. IS are showing their supporters, and their enemies, that they are not beaten.

“So many were killed and wounded because the streets are crowded at night at the end of a day’s fasting during Ramadan, with thousands in a mood to celebrate.

“It is only realistic to fear that there will be more attacks like this, as IS comes under more military pressure.” [05]

Iraqi men carry a coffin in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on July 3, 2016. (Photo: copyright GETTY IMAGES).

Iraqi men carry a coffin in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on July 3, 2016. (Photo: GETTY).

The blast, which struck close to midnight, came from a refrigerator van packed with explosives, reports said.

Many of those killed were children, Associated Press reported. Families gathered on the street on Sunday for news of missing loved ones.

The explosion caused a huge fire on the main street. Several buildings, including the popular al-Hadi Centre, were badly damaged.

The popular al-Hadi Centre was badly damaged in the explosion. (GP News).

The popular al-Hadi Centre was badly damaged in the explosion. July 3, 2016. (Photo: GB Times).

Hussein Ali, a former Iraqi soldier, told AFP news agency that six workers at his family’s shop had been killed and their bodies so badly burned that they could not be identified.

Bomb attacks in Iraq kill. (Photo Shutterstock/ Maxim Petrichuk).

Bomb attacks in Baghdad terrorist bombing in Iraq. July 3, 2016. (Photo Shutterstock/ Maxim Petrichuk).

Funerals have already begun.

Funeral for bombing victim in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on July 3, 2016. Photo: GETTY).

Funeral for bombing victim in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on July 3, 2016. (Photo: GETTY).

Mr Abadi visited the scene in the morning, and was met by crowds who shouted “thief” and “dog”. Video posted online appeared to show his convoy being pelted with stones.

The BBC’s Ahmed Maher in Baghdad says many people are angry at the deteriorating security situation and the fact that IS managed to reach the heart of the capital.

IS still controls large swathes of territory in the country’s north and west, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

But the group has been under pressure in Iraq and in neighbouring Syria, where it has been targeted by government forces and US-backed rebels. [06]

A huge clean up operation is underway.

Car cleared away in Karrada, Baghdad. 3 July 2015. (Photo: GETTY).

Car cleared away in Karrada, Baghdad. 3 July 2015. (Photo: GETTY).

Tthe aftermath of the large explosion that hit Baghdad's central Karrada district. July 3, 2016. (Photo: GETTY).

The aftermath of the large explosion that hit Baghdad’s central Karrada district. July 3, 2016. (Photo: GETTY).

A list compiled by BBC News of the Islamic extremist group bombings since 2016:

  1. 09 June 2016: At least 30 people killed in and around Baghdad in two suicide attacks claimed by IS
  2. 17 May 2016: Four bomb blasts kill 69 people in Baghdad; three of the targets were Shia areas
  3. 11 May 2016: Car bombs in Baghdad kill 93 people, including 64 in market in Shia district of Sadr City
  4. 01 May 2016: Two car bombs kill at least 33 people in southern city of Samawa
  5. 26 March 2016: Suicide attack targets football match in central city of Iskandariya, killing at least 32
  6. 06 March 2016: Fuel tanker blown up at checkpoint near central city of Hilla, killing 47
  7. 28 February 2016: Twin suicide bomb attacks hit market in Sadr City, killing 70

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