Explosions Kill 8 in Iraq’s Salahuddin Province, 10 in Baghdad

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Updated at 6:35 pm (GMT+2): At least 10 people were killed and 30 others were wounded Tuesday in multiple explosions in and around the Iraqi capital Baghdad, police said.

Meanwhile, at least eight people, including four pro-government fighters, were killed and 19 others were injured in two explosions in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin’s Tuz Khormato town, police said Tuesday.

Two policemen were killed and three others were injured when an improvised explosive device hit their patrol in the al-Yousefiyah district in southern Baghdad. Another policeman was killed when an improvised bomb planted under his vehicle exploded in al-Yousefiyah.

At least two people lost their lives and five others were injured in a car bomb attack in the al-Mishada area north of Baghdad.

An improvised bomb killed one person and wounded nine others in al-Shaab district in northeastern Baghdad, and another improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a car killed the driver and wounded two others in the neighborhood of al-Shula in northwestern Baghdad.

Another explosion in the Jisr Diyala neighborhood on the southeastern edge of Baghdad was caused by a car bomb, an interior ministry source said.

Police said the blasts went off near a fire station and as a group of young men were leaving a nearby football ground.

Medical sources confirmed the death toll.

Eight killed in Salahuddin

An IED struck a vehicle of the pro-government group al-Hashed al-Shaabi in the Amirli district of Tuz Khormato, leaving four fighters dead and 15 others injured, town police officer Mohammed al-Barzanji told Anadolu news agency.

In a separate attack, four people were killed and two others were injured in another IED blast at a minibus stop in al-Askari neighborhood, he added.

The Iraqi Media News Agency had reported the two blasts earlier on Tuesday, however stating that only three had been killed in the second blast, and a dozen injured overall.

Iraq has plunged into chaos since the US invasion in 2003, turning the country into a hub for terrorist groups.

The latest security vacuum occurred in June 2014, when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stormed the northern Iraqi province of Mosul and declared a so-called “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi security forces, backed by Kurdish troops, pro-government volunteering fighters, and tribesmen on the ground have managed to regain some ground from ISIS. A US-led coalition of Western and Arab states has also carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq since August.

Still, the jihadists control significant territory, including some major cities like Mosul and Falluja.

Despite claims of successes by the US-led coalition, the air campaign — which so far has cost the Iraqi government more than $260 million — remains the subject of debate, with critics pointing to ISIS' advances and battlefield successes despite the raids.

According to a report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) earlier in February, fighting and other violence in Iraq killed at least 1,375 people, including 790 civilians, in January. However, the UN numbers do not include territories held by ISIS.

A UN report published on Monday said at least 11,602 civilians were killed and another 21,766 were injured between January and December 10, 2014. Two thirds of those killed (7, 801 civilians) and more than half of the injured (12,451 wounded) fell after the surge of ISIS in June, when the conflict spread from Anbar province to other parts of Iraq, the report added.

The jihadist group has executed thousands in Iraq and Syria, targeting, in particular, ethnic and religious minorities.

(Anadolu, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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