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Indiscriminate Attacks in Baghdad Are War Crimes, Says Amnesty International

WASHINGTON -  Amnesty International condemns
today’s indiscriminate bomb attacks in Baghdad,
which according to news reports killed at least 120 people and injured
400 others, many of them civilians.

It is not known who is responsible for this
morning’s explosions.  

“There can be absolutely no justification
whatsoever for indiscriminate attacks or attacks which target civilians,
as these seem to have done,”
said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East
and North Africa. “Such attacks are war crimes. They must be investigated
thoroughly by the authorities and those responsible must be identified
and brought to justice.”

According to news reports,
at least five bomb explosions shook the city this morning. The first explosion
went off in Baghdad’s southern al-Doura district and was apparently aimed
at a police patrol but killed at least 12 students from a nearby college.

Another four near simultaneous car bombs
exploded close to government buildings that reportedly house the Labor,
Health and Interior Ministries.

Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned
car bombs and other attacks targeting civilians in Iraq. Some attacks seem
intended to re-ignite sectarian divisions between Iraq’s Sunni and Shi’a
communities and members of various ethnic and religious minorities.

Today’s coordinated attacks follow a decision
by Iraq’s parliament to pass a new electoral law, which paves the way
for a general election to be held early next year. Passage of the law was
previously delayed due to a dispute over its terms.

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