04/24/2009, 00.00
IRAQ

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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