BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Two car bombs and a third blast killed at least nine people in Iraq on Wednesday, officials and security sources said, the latest in a spate of attacks raising fears of a return to widespread violence.
Militants planted four bombs around his house near the northern city of Kirkuk, according to the city’s police commander Brig.
Another bomb went off a few minutes later and hit a police patrol en route to the scene, injuring three policemen and two civilians, they added.
Shortly before sunset, gunmen in cars opened fire on an Iraqi army checkpoint near the town of Mishada, killing seven soldiers and wounding eight.
, a suicide bomber walked into a teashop and blew himself up in Tal Afar, some 260 miles northwest of the capital.
Mayor Abdul Aal Abbas and local police said that explosion killed seven and wounded 10.
Iraqi officials are tightening security ahead of the Eid al Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this weekend.
Authorities are seeking to thwart a possible upsurge in violence as crowds gather in public places such as parks, shrines and mosques to mark the occasion.
“Our security forces have received intelligence that terrorist groups are planning and preparing for attacks during and after Eid,” said Abdul Karim Tharib, head of the Baghdad provincial council security committee.
An interior ministry official said security measures for the holiday will include an increased number of checkpoints and road closures near government offices, parks and shrines.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to release information to journalists.
Thursday’s carnage began when militants planted four bombs around the house of a military officer near the northern city of Kirkuk, according to the city’s police commander, Brig.
The officer escaped unharmed, but his brother was killed and six other family members were wounded.
Hours later, a bomb in a parked car exploded near a string of restaurants, killing one and wounding 15, Qadir said.
The blast seriously damaged the eateries’ storefronts, scattering shattered glass and debris across the sidewalk.
Another parked car bomb blast targeting a police patrol followed, wounding two policemen and two bystanders.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least 27 people were killed and 30 more wounded when a car bomb exploded outside a cafe in Baghdad’s Zafraniya district, the latest in a series of bombings and shootings in Iraq on Thursday, police and hospital officials said.
Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, is home to a combustible mix of Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Turkomen.
Daqouq, the site of the midday blast, is about 19 miles south of the city.
Just north of Baghdad, in the Sunni city of Taji, yet another parked car bomb went off next to a passing police patrol, killing two civilians who were standing nearby.
Some 40 miles west of Baghdad, militants in speeding cars opened fire on a police patrol in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, killing four policemen and injuring three others, a police officer said.
In Baaj, a remote northwestern town near the Syrian border, gunmen shot dead two civilians who were walking in a market, police said.
Shortly before sunset, a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army patrol near Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
Later in the evening, a bomb exploded near stalls selling fruit and vegetables in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, killing six civilians and wounding 32.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information to journalists.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s apparently coordinated attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of al Qaida’s Iraqi branch.
It has said it aims to reclaim areas from which it was routed by the US and its local allies.
Thursday’s violence comes a day after militant strikes in northern Iraq left 13 people dead.
The al Qaida offshoot, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, has for years had a hot and cold relationship with the global terror network’s leadership.
Both shared the goal of targeting the US military in Iraq and, to an extent, undermining the Shiite government that replaced Saddam Hussein’s regime.
But al Qaea leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri distanced themselves from the Iraqi militants in 2007 for also killing Iraqi civilians instead of focusing on Western targets.
But in early 2012, Mr al Zawahri urged Iraqi insurgents to support the Sunni based uprising in neighboring Syria against President Bashar al Assad, an Alawite.
Thursday’s attacks were Iraq’s deadliest since July 23, when a string of coordinated bombings and shootings left more than 100 dead.
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