At least 27 killed in Baghdad twin suicide attacks

A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up in central Baghdad early Monday, killing 27 people and injuring much more in the second attack in the Iraqi capital in three days.

“Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Tayyaran Square in central Baghdad,” said General Saad Maan, spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, which includes the army and the police.

The attackers struck during rush hour at the place which is a bustling centre of commerce and usually crowded by labourers seeking work. The second explosion came less than 10 minutes later.

There was no immediate claim for the bombings, which came just as electoral coalitions began taking shape this week ahead of expected national elections in May. Previous elections have also been marked by such terrorist activities. Monday’s violence raised concerns that despite the military victory over ISIS, this campaign season would be no different.

In December last year, the government had announced the “end of the war” against IS, expelling it from the Baghdad region and other urban areas of Iraq that it earlier controlled.

Sources – Financial Express, The Washington Post

12 killed in Baghdad after twin suicide bombing by IS

In yet another ghastly twin suicide bombing attack by the Islamic State Group in Baghdad at a mall, more than 40 people were severely injured while 12 people lost their lives. The terror attacks took place at Nakheel Mall which is situated in Eastern Baghdad and is in the proximity of the Oil Ministry. The first bomb went off in the entrance of the mall whereas the other one burst near the parking lot. In an online statement, the terror organisation claimed the responsibility of the attack and also revealed that the main target of the terrorists was a group of Shi’ites present on the Palestine Street.

Amaq news agency, which supports Islamic State, said in an online statement that two suicide bombers, one wearing a vest and the other in a car, had targeted “a gathering of Shi’ites” on Palestine Street. The street wore a deserted look after the bloodshed. In a video from an unverified source, four separate fires were seen. Several cars were engulfed by the flames close to the mall. In 2014, around one-third of Iraq was seized by the Islamic State and the constant conflicts gave rise to the tensions and conflicts between the Shia and the Sunni Community of Iraq. He militants lost to the US-backed government and Iranian Shi’ite militias. Iraq has braced itself up to reclaim the northern part of the city of Mosul.

Shiite Shrine attack in Baghdad kills 37

A Shiite shrine North of Baghdad was attacked by ISIS militants, killing almost 40 civilians and injuring more than 70. The incident took place as Islam’s Shiite community gathered to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, the end of the Holy month of Ramadan.

The bombings took place at the shrine of revered Shiite Imam, Sayed Mohammad bin Ali al-Hadi, in the Balad district. The mausoleum was first attacked with gunfire, after which two IS suicide bombers blew themselves up. A third militant was killed and his bomb defused before his belt exploded.

This incident took place just a few days after the bloody bombing that took place in Baghdad, that killed around 250-300 civilians. Protestors took to the streets to march against the lack of security in the city, leading to three top security officials being fired by Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s Prime Minister.

These attacks are seen as the deadliest close to the month of Ramadan, with the entire months of May and June seeing repeated minor and major attacks, reminding the world of the US-led military invasion of 2003.

These terrorist activities are mostly targeted in predominantly Shiite locations of Iraq by the Sunni-led ISIS, or IS. The war torn country has been repeatedly attacked by this self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate, that seeks to establish an extremist version of Sharia, or Islamic Law.

Read more at: BBC NDTV

Baghdad operations commander shown the door after successive attacks

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi relieved three top dogs of Iraq’s security framework including chief security officer Lieutenant General Abdulamir al-Shimmari, after another bombing took place on a Shiite mausoleum, in Balad, leaving 35 dead. It is the second act of terrorism within a week, the first one being more devastating which left close to 300 people dead in central Baghdad.
The official statement said it is “an order to relieve the Baghdad Operations commander of his position, and relieving security and intelligence officials in Baghdad of their positions,” which can be deduced as a reaction from the PM to the escalating public anger. Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks with the second one involving three suicide bombers.
The attack was crafted on the last day of Ramadan with each suicide bomber specifically aware of their targets. The first bomber covered for the second, who ruthlessly fired at devotees and gunmen alike, the third was pinned down before he could detonate.
Police as well as hospital officials have been barred from speaking to the media.
Earlier on Tuesday Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban decided to quit office after the car bombing incident in Baghdad, which is being regarded as the deadliest attack on Iraqi soil after the toppling of Saddam Hussain.
These attacks seem to be a reaction from the militant group after being squashed out from several parts of North and West of Baghdad.

Sources :- http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/iraq/baghdad-security-chief-sacked-amid-bombing-spree-1.1859039

Iraq PM sacks security chief after Baghdad bombing

A wall around Baghdad not possible, points Iraq PM

In an official statement released on Saturday night, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi dismissed any plans to have a concrete wall around the country’s capital Baghdad, in the context of a looming threat from the Islamic State (IS) militants.

The statement comes after indications by the interior ministry spokesperson police Brigadier General Saad Maan and Baghdad Operations Command that the plan to construct the wall was progressing. The PM put all the claims to rest, as he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying in a statement, “Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis and it’s not possible for a wall or a fence to isolate the city.”

Instead, Abadi emphasised on reorganisation of checkpoints, plugging of gaps in the security perimeter and easing of transit, as measures to ensure a secure capital.

Notably, the city of Baghdad has been a nerve-centre for various assaults – especially on the armed forces as well as the Shiite population – with IS leading the charge. The most recent attack, claimed by the transnational group, targeted a shopping mall on January 11, reportedly killing at least 18 people.

Blast in Baghdad leaves 15 dead, 37 injured

Picture Courtesy – news.oneindia.in
Baghdad: 15 people were killed while 37 more were badly injured as a bomb blasted in a busy street of Baghdad early this morning. It was a heavy intensive blast with cars twisted and craters formed in the street around. Though no one has yet claimed responsibilities for the attack, suspects are aimed towards al Qaida.

The bombs were placed in cars outside the outdoor pet and vegetable markets close to a traffic police office according to the officials. This comes after around 58 people were killed yesterday in the Shiite area of Baghdad which has been under constant attack from the Sunni militants who are in constant surge to gain control in the area.

As per reports, this has been the worst condition Iraq has been under ever since the US troops were removed with the insurgents gaining most of the western and northern areas of the nation.

Read more at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/11-dead-31-hurt-in-car-bomb-blast-30537632.html

Iraq army launches airstrike to weed out militants from Tikrit

Tikrit: Iraqi army forces on Thursday launched an airborne assault on Tikrit, by sending three helicopters with commandos to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebels who have taken control of the region.

Armed militants with their weapons. Reuters
Armed militants with their weapons. Reuters
Militants opened fire at the helicopters as it descended into the the stadium in the city’s university, resulting in one of the choppers crash landing. Fierce clashes followed around the university compound and inside the colleges of agriculture and sports education.

The rebels, who are an offshoot of the al-Qaeda, have taken control of the city, which is the hometown of former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, giving them control in most Sunni majority regions. The Sunni insurgency has wrecked havoc in Baghdad in the last two weeks. After the Sunni fighters led by the ISIL attacked north Iraq’s biggest city Mosul in early June, the Iraqi army largely disappeared from the north. More recently, the government is relying on elite commandos to defend the country’s biggest oil refinery, Baiji.

Prime Minister Nuri –al Maliki is under pressure from US to be a more inclusive government to reduce support for the insurgency. ISIL is being helped by other moderate Sunni armed groups who believe that Sunnis have been persecuted under Maliki’s government.

Read more at: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/06/26/iraq-security-idINKBN0F00RV20140626