December 22, 2011 by staff
Iraq Bombing, The death toll in Baghdad following a wave of bombings has risen to 65 after an explosion near a café. The suspected co-ordinated attacks struck days after the last American forces left Iraq and in the midst of a major government crisis between the country’s top Shiite and Sunni political leaders.
The bombings may be linked more to the US withdrawal than the political crisis, but the developments heighten fears of a new round of sectarian bloodshed like the one a few years ago that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the bombings bore all the hallmarks of an attack by the Sunni insurgents of al Qaeda.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned the attacks as “cowardly” and urged leaders to “pull together” to aid the country’s political stability.
Mr Hague said: “I condemn the attacks that took place in Baghdad this morning, resulting in the death and injury of a large number of people. I offer my condolences to the bereaved and injured.”
He added: “These cowardly attacks come at a time of political tension in Iraq. I hope that leaders from across the political and sectarian spectrum will pull together to establish a dialogue to ensure Iraq’s political stability and to build a stable future.
“The UK will support Iraq in its efforts to defeat extremism and t*rror*sm.”
Most of the violence appeared to hit Shiite neighbourhoods, although some Sunni areas were also targeted.
In all, 11 neighbourhoods were hit by either car bombs, roadside blasts or sticky bombs attached to cars. At least one of the attacks was a suicide bombing and the blasts went off over several hours.
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