Multiple blasts kill 8 in Baghdad

 BAGHDAD: Officials in Iraq say separate bombings outside the capital, Baghdad, have killed at least eight people. A police officer said a suicide car bomber attacked a police and army checkpoint on Sunday in the town of Tarmiyah, killing five security members and wounding 10. The town is about 50km north of Baghdad. Police say another car bomb killed three civilians and wounded eight at an outdoor market in Taji, about 20km north of Baghdad. Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to release the information. The attacks come amid heightened security in Baghdad to protect thousands of Shiite pilgrims marching to a shrine of a revered Imam to commemorate his 8th-century death. The mayor of an Iraqi town where more than 42 inmates escaped in a prison break claimed by the Daesh group said on Sunday that serious security failures were to blame. The interior ministry said an investigation had been opened into the prison break in Khalis, in a statement issued on Saturday that also mentioned “shortcomings in prison administration.” “Lack of intelligence was the main reason behind the prison break. If we had had information, this would not have happened,” Uday Al Khadran said by phone. He said that 42 prisoners escaped in Friday’s break-out, while 35 others were killed as well as six members of the security forces and three civilians who rushed to help. “The attack was planned, there were IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on the roads,” Khadran said, confirming details of the attack provided in the Daesh claim on Saturday. He...

Suicide attacks on Iraqi Shi’ite mosques kill 22

Militants in Iraq have carried out a series of suicide attacks on Shi’ite mosques in the country’s northeast, killing at least 22 worshippers, including a senior police officer. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings but they bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State extremist group, which has carried near-daily attacks – along with other Sunni militant groups – against the Shi’ite majority, Iraqi officials and security forces. The IS considers Shi’ites heretics and has, since last year, captured large chunks of territory in western and northern Iraq, plunging the country into its worst crisis since US troops left at the end of 2011. In the town of Balad Ruz, a suicide car bomber attacked the al-Zahraa mosque as worshippers were leaving after the Friday mid-day prayers, a police officer said. A second suicide bomber on foot then attacked the crowds gathered in the aftermath. The twin attacks in Balad Ruz, located about 70 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, killed at least 18 people and injured at least 41. Among the dead were the leader of the town’s police commandos, Col. Adnan Mohammed al-Timimi, and two policemen, the official added. Separately, a suicide bomber drove his car into worshippers as they were leaving the Imam Hussein Shi’ite mosque in the town of Kanaan, about 75 kilometres northeast of the Iraqi capital, the police officer added. Four people were killed and at least 18 wounded in that attack. Friday’s bombings came ahead of next week’s major Shi’ite event commemorating the anniversary of the 8th century death of a revered religious figure, Imam Mousa al-Kazim, when thousands of pilgrims march to...

Mass Executions Continue in Northern Iraq; 167 Killed

At least 167 were killed and 17 were wounded: In Baghdad, a female body was found in Labs. Gunmen killed a civilian inGhazaliya. Fourteen militants were killed during operations al-Khatimiya and al-Alimiya. Another 16 militants were killed in al-Kanazer and al-Masuliyah. In Mosul, militants executed 20 civilians accused of helping people escape the city. A roadside bomb killed six militants and wounded three more. A body was found in Sabaa al-Bour. An I.E.D. wounded a civilian in Meshahda. In Baquba, a bomb wounded three policemen. A roadside bomb killed five people and wounded six more. Four Peshmerga were wounded in a blast near Jalula. Security forces in Garma killed 59 militants. In the Sinjar region, airstrikes left 24 militants dead on Saturday. Airstrikes resumed Sunday after civilians residential areas were bombed. Fifteen militants were killed in strikes in Ramadi. Turkmen forces killed five militants trying to plant bombs in Bashir....

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Baghdad Car Bomb Attack

ISIS on Sunday claimed responsibility for a late-night car bomb attack in Baghdad that killed at least 19 people, saying it was targeting a Shiite militia, according to The Associated Press.   The two car bombs went off about 10 minutes apart late Saturday in the Karrada district, known for its restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlors.   Police said the dead and wounded were mainly shoppers and people commemorating the death of Imam Ali, a key figure in Shiite Islam. Two traffic policemen were among those killed, according to AP. Sunday’s claim of responsibility by ISIS is similar to previous claims this past week, in which the terrorists characterized the attacks as a response to fighting in the western Anbar province.   There has been a spike in terrorist attacks in Baghdad over the last week, including an attack in which eight Iraqis were shot dead and dumped in the Iraqi capital.   An interior ministry official and a tribal leader said the men, who were found in the capital’s Jihad area, were people who had fled violence in Anbar, but a police colonel and a medical source said their identities were still not known.   Those killings came a day after a woman and two children were shot dead in the Abu Dsheer area of Baghdad.   Interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan said the Abu Dhsheer killings may have been related to “a family problem” and that the incident was being investigated, but rumors had circulated online that the three were killed by displaced people from Anbar, raising the possibility that subsequent attacks on people from the province may have been...

Politicians Blame Anbar Refugees for Baghdad Blasts; 65 Killed across Iraq

 Baghdad officials are blaming displaced Sunnis, who are fleeing the fighting inAnbar, for a rise in the number of bombings in the last few days. The Islamic Statemilitants took credit for the blasts, saying they were in retaliation for several attacks against those displaced Sunnis. At least 65 were killed and 10 more were wounded: Three civilians were killed and seven were wounded during an Iraqi airstrike inFalluja. In Mosul, militants executed three elders from the al-Jabour tribe. A suicide bomber killed 16 soldiers in Baiji. A roadside bomb in Buhriz killed one tribal fighter and wounded three more. Militants attacked a Peshmerga position on Mount Sinjar, where they killed at least one Peshmerga member. A counterattack that included airstrikes killed dozens of militants. Forty militants were killed in Garma.  ...

Car bombings in Baghdad kill 20

A series of car bombings targeting busy commercial areas in Iraq’s capital killed at least 20 civilians on Monday, officials said. The deadliest attack took place in night when a car bomb exploded on a commercial street in Baghdad’s western district of Mansour, killing 10 people and wounding 25, police said. Security forces sealed off the area, which is often packed with nighttime shoppers. At least 20 cars were set ablaze by the blast, which damaged several shops and restaurants. Police said four children were among the wounded. An hour later, a car bombing on a commercial street killed three people and wounded 12 in Baghdad’s Amil neighborhood, police said. Earlier on Monday, another car bomb exploded in Baghdad’s Bayaa district near a real estate office in an area where dozens gather every day. A police official said that blast killed seven people and wounded at least 16. Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks. Baghdad has seen near-daily attacks as security forces struggle to dislodge the Islamic State group from vast areas in northern and western Iraq seized by the extremists during a stunning blitz last summer....