At least 46 dead in wave of car bombs, shootings across Iraq
A spate of attacks across Iraq on Sunday killed at least 46 people, while the head of Baghdad’s provincial council escaped an assassination attempt on his convoy.
At least 17 car bombs went off in dozens of Iraqi towns and cities on Sunday, killing at least 46 people and wounding over 130 more, Agence France Presse reported.
The city of Hilla, the predominantly Shiite capital of Babil province south of Baghdad, saw the worst violence when four car bombs killed 19 people, according to figures run by AFP.
"I saw many people with burns, and people who were on fire, they were screaming for help," said Sajjad al-Amari, a 22-year-old witness to one car bombing on the outskirts of Hilla, who spoke to AFP.
Another eye-witness who spoke to the news agency blamed the incompetence of the Iraqi security forces for the attack, charging that they "cleared the way for terrorists to target, and kill, civilians".
Meanwhile in Baghdad, a car bomb targeted the convoy of Riyadh Al Adhadh, chief of the provincial council and a Sunni lawmaker from the party of the national parliament speaker, AFP reported.
Adhadh escaped from the attack unhurt, but two others, including one of his personal bodyguards, were killed in the attack and four others were wounded.
A separate car bomb later on Sunday in the capital killed three others, according to AFP reports.
The southern city of Basra was also rocked by violence Sunday as a car bomb went off at a popular market, which killed three people and left 15 wounded.
Attacks south of Baghdad — in Yusifiyah, Karbala, Nasiriyah, Kut, Suweirah and Hafriyah caused nine fatalities, while a spate of shooting and bombings in and around the northern and western cities of Abu Ghraib, Baquba, Sharqat, Kirkuk and Mosul killed 10 more, AFP reported.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the violence, but Al Qaeda-affiliated groups are often to blame for acts of violence against Iraq’s Shiite majority.
This wave of bloodshed across Iraq is the latest in a months-long increase in violence across the country that has left more than 4,000 dead this year alone, according to an AFP tally.