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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
Reuters
Baghdad,Iraq,Allawi
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.

First Published: Dec 22, 2011 12:37 IST