Latest attacks kill 26 in central, western Iraq
BAGHDAD — Three blasts — including a suicide bombing in a cafe — killed 26 people in central and western Iraq on Monday evening, officials said. They were the latest attacks in a months-long surge of violence.
In the deadliest of the blasts, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt inside a cafe in Balad, 60 miles north of Baghdad, killing 15 people and wounding 30, police said. Militants frequently attack Shiite civilian targets to undermine the government.
About two hours later, six people were killed and 17 wounded in an explosion near a restaurant in the city of Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
Late at night, a suicide car bomber drove his vehicle into an army checkpoint near the city of Fallujah, killing five soldiers, police officials said.
Fallujah, a former al-Qaida stronghold, is 40 miles west of Baghdad.
Medical officials in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figures.
The latest surge in violence has raised fears that Iraq could be returning to widespread sectarian killings similar to those that brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.
Meanwhile, al-Qaida's branch in Iraq claimed responsibility for attacks that killed 69 people during the Muslim holiday after the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Saturday's attacks targeted mostly cafes and busy marketplaces. They were part of a wave of bloodshed that has swept Iraq since April, killing more than 3,000 and worsening strained ties between Iraq's Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — as Iraq's al-Qaida affiliate is known — said in a statement on the Internet that the bombings were in retaliation for the arrests of hundreds of Muslims by Iraqi security forces.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.