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  • » 04/24/2009, 00.00


    Two attacks in Baghdad kill 60, country on the edge of civil war

    Two female suicide bombers attack an important Shia mosque in the capital. At least 60 people are killed and 125 wounded. Sources tell AsiaNews that it is “war” in the capital with mortars, bazookas and bombs. Fighting is taking place in Kirkuk over oil.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Iraq is on its way towards sliding into civil war. In the last few days several car bombs have exploded in short order. Mortar and bazooka attacks have been reported as Sunni and Shia factions begin to battle it out in an undeclared war. When the Americans leave “it will get worse’” sources told AsiaNews. For the latter Iraq is already a “divided country at war.”

    Today’s attacks took place at the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim shrine in the Kadhimiya area; 60 were killed when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up. More than a hundred people were wounded but the final toll is set to rise.

    In Diyala province another car bomb killed one Iraqi soldier, wounding three.

    “There is no political will to find a solution,” the source said. “The country is still split between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions. Every party has an armed wing that carries out attacks, commits crimes and indulges in violence. We are witnessing a struggle for power that will get worse.”

    The election of Iyad al-Samarrai’e to the post of speaker, a Sunni member of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, has made matters worse. 

    However, as the winds of war blow in Baghdad, the international community is strangely silent. For many the departure of US troops “will inevitably cause further violence.”

    “The US government is like Pontius Pilate,” the source said. “In Iraq we are on the eve of war and the US administration is washing its hands. In his election campaign Barack Obama promised to pull US troops out, criticising Bush’s policy. Now he wants to keep that promise despite all the innocent blood that has been shed.”

    The northern part of the country has not been spared by this new wave of violence. In Kirkuk there are open clashes over who will control the area’s oil between the Kurds, who signed concessions with foreign companies, and the central government.

    In the midst of all this the local Christian community has come under attack and is being used by a political faction to grab power.

    “Kurds say they are defending the Christians to show that they are for minority protection,” the source said. “This way they can give legitimacy to their army and their hold over the region.”

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    See also

    19/08/2008 IRAQ
    In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim leaders pray for peace in the country
    In Iraqi Kurdistan Christian, Sunni, Shia and Kurdish leaders pray together in the Sunni al-Rashid Mosque, calling for an “end to violence.” There are signs of hope showing that a will to rebuild the country exists despite ongoing attacks and targeted murders.

    13/11/2007 IRAQ
    Baghdad’s “successes” vs Mosul’s “hell”
    Improved security in the capital is inducing many refugees to go home. The Petraeus plan but also co-operation between Iraqi forces and Sunni and Shia tribal groups are the reason. But in Mosul Christians are still hunted down. A Chaldean man who ran a liquor store is shot in front of his house.

    10/09/2012 IRAQ
    Archbishop of Kirkuk: sectarian violence in Iraq "politically motivated"
    A series of attacks across the country leave an estimated 100 dead and over 350 injured. The violent response to the death penalty imposed in absentia on Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. Archbishop Sako: divided government, reconciliation project faltering, a fragmented nation and "common" traits with events in Syria, and strong impact of nearby countries. Hopes for peace and future prospects in Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon.

    31/07/2008 IRAQ
    Christians and Muslims show solidarity for Kirkuk attack victims
    In the company of Sunni and Shia religious leaders as well as tribal leaders, Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, today visited in hospital the people injured in last Monday’s bomb attack. This initiative represents an additional signal of the common desire for peace and mutual forgiveness.

    20/02/2009 IRAQ
    Provincial elections: al Maliki triumphs in Baghdad and Basra. Anbar goes to tribal Sunnis
    The Electoral Commission has certified the results of the voting. The coalition of the prime minister wins in 10 out of 14 provinces, but alliances will be fundamental for the formation of local governments. In Nineveh, the Sunnis, who boycotted the elections of 2005, defeat the Kurdish forces.

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