Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wire: Iraq Violence Surges Back as Bombings Kill 200 Ahead of US Withdrawal

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that the bombing of a Baghdad bus station Thursday pushed the death toll from a week-long series of blasts near Shiite targets to about 200, calling into question Iraq's ability to provide security as U.S. combat troops withdraw from cities.

The Associated Press said the wave of attacks is undermining Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's declaration of a "great victory" over the "foreign occupation" in the U.S. pullout from urban areas by next Tuesday's deadline. He has declared June 30 a national holiday to be marked with celebrations.

On Sunday a truck bomb packed with nearly a ton of explosives exploded in a Shiite town just outside the ethnically tense city of Kirkuk, killing 82 people. Officials blamed al-Qaida in Iraq for the attack.

On Monday, the increased violence killed more than 30 people in Baghdad's Shiite neighborhoods.

On Wednesday, a massive blast in Sadr City left 78 people dead and over 200 wounded.

The Kirkuk bombing and the Sadr City blast were the two deadliest attacks this year.

On Thursday, a bombing at a bus station in a Shiite neighborhood in southwest Baghdad killed at least seven people and wounded 31, police said. Another three bombs and a mortar strike killed two others around the capital. Nine American soldiers were wounded in two roadside bombings against a convoy in eastern Baghdad, the U.S. military said. And a roadside bombing killed a man in the northern city of Mosul, AP said.

That left the death toll since Saturday at about 200.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Iraqi bombings kill scores ahead of US withdrawal

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