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Scores Dead, Hundreds Wounded in Violent Wave Across Iraq

Common Dreams staff

A policeman stands guard at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250km (155 miles) north of Baghdad July 23, 2012. (REUTERS/Ako Rasheed)

A wave of violent bombings and shootings across Iraq on Monday has left over 90 people dead and many hundreds wounded, according to various reports, making it the most deadly day since most US troops left the war-ravaged country last year.

The violence occurred in over twenty separate attacks that spanned more than a dozen cities across Iraq, but the most devastating bombings occurred in and around Baghdad, the nation's capital.

Reuters reports that "at least 223 people" were wounded in the string of attacks that targeted mostly Shi'ite areas, and included reports of the following incidents:

  • In Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, six explosions, including a car bomb, went off near a housing complex. A seventh blast there caused carnage among police who had arrived at the scene of the earlier ones. In all 32 people were killed, including 14 police, and 48 wounded, 10 of them police.
  • Two car bombs struck near a government building in Sadr City, a vast, poor Shi'ite swathe of Baghdad, and in the mainly Shi'ite area of Hussainiya on the outskirts of the capital, killing a total of 11 people and wounding 73, police said.
  • In Kirkuk, five car bombs killed six people and wounded 17, while explosions and gun attacks on security checkpoints around the restive province of Diyala killed six people, including four soldiers and policemen, and wounded 30, police sources said.
  • Two car bombs parked near a military checkpoint killed five people and wounded 22 in the town of Khan Bani Saad, 30 km (20 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police sources said. Gunmen killed four soldiers and wounded five in an attack on a checkpoint in the town of Udhaim, 90 km north of the capital, they said.

Additionally, at least 15 Iraqi soldiers were killed and four others injured after gunmen attacked a military base in Salah Din province, an army official told Al Jazeera.

No group (or groups) has yet taken responsibility for the carnage, but reporting by The Guardian makes note that the "attacks come days after the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq warned in a statement that the group was reorganising in areas from which it retreated before US troops left the country last December."

Monday's attacks continue a pattern of violence that has engulfed Iraq since the US invasion in 2003, and speak to the deep sectarian divisions unleashed following the foreign occupation that "officially ended" at the end of 2011. In June, a series of explosions killed 84 people and Monday's fresh wave of killings comes just a day after a spate of bombings across the country killed at least 20 people and wounded 88 others and coincided with the beginning of Ramadan in Iraq on Saturday.

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