Car bombings kill 13 civilians in Baghdad

Updated - November 16, 2021 08:50 pm IST

Published - January 12, 2014 03:24 pm IST - BAGHDAD:

Two separate car bomb explosions targeted Sunday morning commuters in Baghdad, killing at least 13 civilians, officials said, amid an ongoing standoff between Iraqi forces and al-Qaida-linked militants west of the Iraqi capital.

The blasts came a day after a senior American official wrapped up a three-day visit to Iraq to meet with top political leaders to discuss the security crisis in the vast Sunni-dominated western province of Anbar.

The deadliest blast occurred at a bustling bus station in central Baghdad when an explosives-laden car exploded outside the station in the Allawi area, killing at least nine people and wounding 16, a police officer said. Thousands of people use the bus station every day or pass through the area. Last Thursday, a suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of security force recruits nearby, killing nearly two dozen men.

Another parked car bomb targeted a gathering of buses and taxis in Baghdad’s northern Hurriyah neighborhood, killing four civilians and wounding 12 others, the same police officer said.

Two medical officials confirmed the casuality figures, which included 16 wounded. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to release information.

The attacks come as Iraqi security forces and allied Sunni tribal militias have been battling al-Qaeda-linked militants in Anbar to recapture strategic territory overrun by militants from the local al-Qaeda franchise, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

Iraqi forces have yet to militarily try to reassert control over Fallujah, which remains in the hands of the militants and tribal gunmen opposed to the central government. Militants and tribal fighters also control part of the provincial capital, Ramadi. Sporadic clashes there and in surrounding areas continue to take place.

Thousands of families have left the area, fearing a government offensive. Clashes between militants and security forces have left at least 60 people dead since violence erupted after the Dec. 28 arrest of a Sunni lawmaker sought on terrorism charges and the dismantling of an anti-government Sunni protest camp in Ramadi.

The head of Anbar’s Health Directorate, Khudeir Shalal, said on Saturday that 43 people were killed in the city of Ramadi and other 17 were killed in Fallujah. He added a total of 297 people were wounded in both cities.

In a sign of American concern over the situation in Anbar, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Brett McGurk wrapped up a three-day visit to Iraq to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top Iraqi political leaders, as well as tribal leaders from Anbar, to discuss the security situation.

In a statement, the U.S. embassy to Baghdad said that Mr. McGurk emphasized that the U.S. “will provide all necessary and appropriate assistance to the Government of Iraq ... under the Strategic Framework Agreement to help ensure that these efforts succeed.”

Washington has ruled out sending American troops back in but recently delivered dozens of Hellfire missiles to help bolster Iraqi forces. It has promised to send more missiles as well as surveillance drones.

Other senior American officials have reached out to top Iraqi leaders too, with Vice President Joe Biden speaking to Mr. al-Maliki twice last week alone.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.