At least 41 killed in surge of violence in Iraq days before referendum
At least 41 Iraqis were killed in a surge of violence on Tuesday just four days before the country is set to vote in a national referendum on the nation's first constitution.
30 Iraqis were died when a car bomb exploded in a marketplace in the town of Tal Afar in northwest Iraq. At least 35 others wounded in the blast, after a bomb was detonated by remote sensor amidst a crowd of civilians, according to Reuters. The Tal Afar marketplace had only recently been reopened after closure due to continued violence in the area.
A separate suicide car bomb exploded near an Iraqi army checkpoint in western Baghdad, killing eight Iraqi soldiers and one civilian. An additional 12 soldiers were also wounded in the blast, according to police reports.
Two Iraqi policemen were killed by gunmen in the Dura district in southern Baghdad earlier in the day as they rode in a taxi, according to an Iraqi interior ministry statement. Two other attacks in Baghdad left 12 policemen and four civilians wounded as well.
Many have anticipated such a rise in violence prior to the October 15 referendum, over which the nation is deeply divided.
On Monday a delegation of Arab League envoys was ambushed by gunmen in Baghdad leaving two police bodyguards dead and seven wounded, according to Middle East Online.
Many in Iraq feel the Arab League has insufficiently condemned ongoing attacks on Shiites by Sunni fighters.
The Arab League, according to some, has also been slow to act in helping Iraq rebuild itself following the removal of former leader Saddam Hussein.
The visit is the first by League Secretary Amr Moussa since the US-led invasion began in 2003.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)