Suicide bomber kills more than 50 in Iraq

By Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
January 14, 2012 — Updated 1824 GMT (0224 HKT)
Iraqi security forces inpsect the scene of a suicide bombing that killed more than 50 people Saturday near Basra.
Iraqi security forces inpsect the scene of a suicide bombing that killed more than 50 people Saturday near Basra.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Iraqi president and U.S. Embassy condemn the attack
  • The incident is the deadliest attack on Shiites since U.S. completed withdrawal
  • The death toll has climbed to at least 53 killed, ministry says
  • The bomber struck at a police checkpoint outside the city of Basra, officials say

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman targeted Shiite pilgrims Saturday outside the southern Iraqi city of Basra, killing at least 53 people and wounding 137, the Interior Ministry said.

The blast was the single deadliest attack on the Shiite community since the U.S. military completed its troops withdrawal from Iraq. A January 5 suicide attack on Shiite pilgrims west of the southern city of Nasiriya killed 44.

Saturday’s bomber struck a police checkpoint near a Shiite mosque where many of the pilgrims were headed to mark a revered holy day, the end of a 40-day mourning period known as Arbaeen, Interior Ministry officials said.

President Jalal Talabani called on security forces to beef up their efforts in protecting the war-torn country.

“In a new attempt to incite sectarian sedition and drive the country to the brink of civil war and to terrorize the people , the terrorist forces have committed a series of heinous crimes that have targeted Imam Hussain pilgrims,” Talabani said.

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Al-Sadr followers rally in Iraq against US troops

Veiled women supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr march while holding a sign that reads, “no, no to occupation,” in Arabic, in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, May 26, 2011. Tens of thousands of followers of the Shiite anti-American cleric are rallying in Baghdad, demanding the U.S. military leave Iraq at the end of the year. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BAGHDAD — Militiamen and followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr led a massive rally on Thursday, marching in Baghdad in a show of force as Iraqi leaders weigh whether to keep U.S. troops in the country beyond the end of the year. Continue reading

Al-Sadr fled to Iran due to assassination fears

The location of Najaf (printed in red) within ...

Image via Wikipedia

26/01/2011By Ma’ad Fayad

London, Asharq Al-Awsat � Well informed Iraqi sources in the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Qom have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, who returned to Iran after spending only two weeks in Iraq, left after receiving threats from the Asaib Ahl al-Haq group, and due to fears that the arrest warrant, issued against him against the backdrop of the assassination of Shiite cleric Abdul Majid al-Khoei in April 2003, would be enforced.

Informed sources in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf disclosed to Asharq Al-Awsat that “those observing what is happening did not expect al-Sadr to remain in the city of Najaf for long, because of rumours about serious threats being issued against him by the Asaib Ahl al-Haq group. The Asaib Ahl al-Haq group is said to have issued a statement declaring the killing of Moqtada al-Sadr lawful. This statement was then distributed to some residents of Najaf, who subsequently detailed its content to the leader of the Sadrist movement.” Continue reading

Iran’s Continued Meddling in Iraq

 

Iranian interference remains a threat to stability in Iraq.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani displays an elections application.

Photo: AP

Iraqi Oil Minister and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki‘s political bloc member, Hussain al-Shahristani, displays an elections application, during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, 11 Apr 2010

"I think ultimately Iraqi nationalism will trump Iranian meddling."

In recent weeks, there have been reasons to believe the Iraqi people will see a future shaped by their own determination to forge a strong and unified Iraq, and not by those who would deny them the chance for peace, freedom and security.

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Bombs kill 60 in Iraq days after al Qaeda killings

The Associated Press

Date: Friday Apr. 23, 2010 1:13 PM ET

Slideshow image

People rush to extinguish a burning car moments after one in a series of bombs in the Shiite

stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, April 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

BAGHDAD — A series of bombings mainly targeting Shiite worshippers killed at least 60 people on Friday, officials said, just days after U.S. and Iraqi forces killed the top two al Qaeda leaders in Iraq in what was described as devastating blow to the insurgency.

The apparently coordinated attack, which occurred in a two-hour timespan, demonstrated insurgents remain a potent force despite U.S. and Iraqi claims that the terror network is on the run.

Officials have warned insurgents remain capable of staging high-profile bombings in a bid to reignite sectarian tensions that pushed the country to the brink of civil war

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Bombs kill 60 in Iraq days after al Qaeda killings – CTV News.

US: Deaths of al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq potentially devastating

20.04.2010 00:59

The killings of al-Qaeda‘s top leaders in Iraq during an overnight operation carried out by US and Iraqi forces are “potentially devastating blows” to the terrorist network in the country, US Vice President Joe Biden said Monday, dpa reported.

US and Iraqi authorities confirmed that Abu Ayyub al-Masri, al- Qaeda’s top figurehead in Iraq, along with senior leader Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi were killed near Tikrit in Salah al-Din province.

Biden attributed the success to improved capabilities of Iraqi security forces and said the operation was based on intelligence gathered by the Iraqis following the arrest of another al-Qaeda leader last month.

“Their deaths are potentially devastating blows to al Qaeda- Iraq,” Biden said, calling it an “extremely important” development.
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Trend News: US: Deaths of al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq potentially devastating.