Bombings Across Baghdad Kill At Least 65
The Associated Press reports the blasts appeared to be coordinated and called Thursday one of the deadliest days in Iraq in the last few months. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks and it is unclear whether the bombings had anything to do with the withdrawal of American troops or were a result of increased sectarian tensions.
Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites grew earlier in the week after the Shiite-controlled government issued an arrest warrant for Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, who is Sunni. Hashimi is currently in Kurdistan and has not been arrested at this time. The arrest warrant came as a surprise to U.S. officials Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Tuesday to express concern about the warrant.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad condemned Thursday’s attacks in a statement. “Senseless acts of violence tear at the fabric of Iraqi unity and do not in any way help the people of Iraq or any of its communities.”
Maliki vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice and urged Iraqis to remain calm and focused. “I call upon all the religious men, the patriot powers and the tribes to support the security agencies in these very difficult circumstances,” Maliki said in a statement.
The Iraqi people are used to violence after years of war, including the last nine years of American-backed hostilities, but many are beginning to wonder if the country will ever find peace.
“My baby was sleeping in her bed. Shards of glass have fallen on our heads. Her father hugged her and carried her. She is now scared in the next room,” one woman in western Baghdad who identified herself as Um Hanin to the Associated Press said. “All countries are stable. Why don't we have security and stability?”
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