Bombs and Rockets on Iraq’s Capital Kill Eight

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Friday, February 27, 2015

At least eight people were killed by bombs and rocket fire in Baghdad on Friday, police and medical sources said.

They said a bomb exploded in the neighborhood of al-Saydiya, in southern Baghdad, killing three civilians while two Katyusha rockets hit the nearby neighborhood of al-Shurta, killing two people.

Three more people were killed when another bomb exploded in Saba al-Bour neighborhood in the north of the capital.

No one claimed responsibility of the attacks.

While the hardline Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has not advanced into Baghdad, it holds a ring of towns around the capital and has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings in several districts of the city.

In fact, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said the city worst affected by violence was the capital, Baghdad, with 256 civilians killed and 758 wounded. UNAMI said in a statement that violence in Iraq has killed at least 1,375 people, including 790 civilians, in the month of January alone.

On Tuesday, a string of deadly attacks killed at least 37 people.

Police also discovered the bodies on Friday of six unidentified young men in Baghdad's northern al-Husseiniya district. The men, who had been shot dead, were blindfolded and their hands were tied behind their backs.

Large swathes of land in Iraq have become ISIS strongholds as the extremist group, which declared a "caliphate" in the territory it seized in Iraq and Syria, drove Iraq's army — the recipient of $25 billion in US training and funding since the 2003 invasion — to collapse.

The US-led anti-ISIS coalition has been bombing Iraq since September and has so far billed Iraq $260 million, despite failure to stop the advance of militants.

However, the air campaign, which Washington says aims to degrade ISIS' military capability, remains the subject of debate, with critics pointing to ISIS' advances and battlefield successes despite the raids.

The expansion of terrorist groups in Iraq raises questions about the effectiveness of the US anti-terrorism campaign since 2001.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)


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