Over 850 killed in July after latest attacks in Iraq
Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Updated 2:20 pm Attacks in Iraq killed nine people and wounded 19 on Wednesday, officials said, as the country witnesses its deadliest violence since 2008.
Gunmen killed five people and wounded eight in two attacks in Baghdad province, while two bombings in Kirkuk province, north of the capital, wounded five soldiers and a policeman.
And gunmen armed with automatic weapons shot dead two people near Baquba, north of Baghdad, in an area that has been hit by frequent attacks in recent weeks.
A car bomb also wounded five people south of Tikrit.
With the latest violence, more than 850 people have been killed in July, and more than 3,100 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.
Despite the rise in violence, officials in Baghdad want to promote tourism and believe visitor numbers can be increased threefold.
"When Iraq is mentioned in Europe, the first things that people think of are terrorism and violence," Baha al-Mayahi, a senior adviser to the tourism ministry, told AFP.
"We need to put in place major efforts in order to change this, and to tell people that Iraq is not terrorism and killing, that Iraq is history and civilization."
Maya said Iraq averages around two million tourists annually, but that with some basic improvements that figure could increase to six million.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Iraqi political leaders to bring the country "back from the brink," while the interior ministry has warned of civil war.