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Blasts kill 63 in Iraq mired in political crisis

A series of bombings hit Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 63 people in the first big assault attack on Iraq’s capital since a sectarian crisis erupted within its government just days after the US troop withdrawal.

world Updated: Dec 23, 2011 01:29 IST
Iraqi-security-forces-and-people-inspect-the-scene-of-a-car-bomb-attack-in-Baghdad-which-killed-and-wounded-scores-of-people-AP-Photo
Iraqi-security-forces-and-people-inspect-the-scene-of-a-car-bomb-attack-in-Baghdad-which-killed-and-wounded-scores-of-people-AP-Photo

A series of bombings hit Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 63 people in the first big assault attack on Iraq’s capital since a sectarian crisis erupted within its government just days after the US troop withdrawal.

The apparently coordinated bombings were the first sign of a violent backlash against Shia Muslim Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s move to sideline two Sunni Muslim rivals, raising the risk of a relapse into the sort of sectarian bloodletting that drove Iraq to the brink of civil war a few years ago.

At least 18 people were killed when a suicide bomber driving an ambulance detonated the vehicle near a government office in Baghdad’s Karrada district, sending up a dust cloud and scattering car parts into a kindergarten, according to police and health officials.

In total 63 people were killed and 194 were wounded in more than ten explosions across Baghdad. Most of the targeted districts were Shia.