Iraq attacks kill at least 35
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AFP) (UPDATED) - A wave of bombing and shooting attacks in six different provinces across Iraq killed at least 35 people and wounded more than 150 on Thursday, April 19, security officials said.
It was the deadliest day in Iraq since March 20, when shootings and bombings claimed by Al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq killed 50 people and wounded 255 nationwide.
Twenty-two civilians, eight police, three members of an anti-Qaeda militia and two soldiers were killed in dozens of attacks, including 14 separate car bombings.
Bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 17 people and wounded 97, an interior ministry official said.
A car bomb targeting Health Minister Majid Hamed Amin's convoy in Haifa Street in the heart of the capital, killed two civilians and wounded nine people, including four of the minister's guards.
Another car bomb in the Al-Amil neighborhood of south Baghdad killed two people and wounded 17.
Two people were killed and four wounded in a car bomb against a checkpoint in Palestine Street in the east of the capital, while a fourth car bomb in Kadhimiyah, a Shiite shrine district in north Baghdad, killed three people and wounded 20.
A fifth car bomb against a Turkmen social club on Palestine Street killed two people and wounded six, and a roadside bomb in Zafraniyah in central Baghdad wounded six.
In Taji, north of the capital, two roadside bombs killed one person and wounded five, while two car bombs and a suicide bombing killed five people and wounded 24.
In Tarmiyah, also north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle by an army base, killing one soldier and wounding six.
In northern Iraq, bombings in Kirkuk province killed nine people and wounded 24, high-ranking police officers said.
A car bomb against the convoy of police Brigadier General Taha Salaheddin south of Kirkuk city killed two police and wounded 15 other people.
Another car bomb in the city centre killed two police and wounded three, a high-ranking police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Six bombs against houses in the town of Malha, 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Kirkuk, killed five people including an army major and wounded six, police Brigadier General Sarhad Qader said.
And in Ramadi in Anbar province, west of the capital, two car bombs against police patrols killed one person and wounded nine, a police source said.
In Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the home of police First Lieutenant Mohammed al-Tamimi, killing him and wounding four family members, an Iraqi army lieutenant colonel and Dr Ahmed Ibrahim of Baquba General Hospital said.
A suicide car bomb against a police checkpoint in the city centre killed two policemen and wounded two other people.
Another policeman was killed by gunmen in the town of Al-Mansuriyah north of Baquba, while a bomb against a home in the town wounded three people.
A bomb targeting a home in Ghalbiyah, west of Baquba, also wounded three people.
In Samarra, in Salaheddin province, two car bombs exploded near checkpoints of anti-Qaeda militiamen, killing three people and wounding six, militia commander Majid Abdullah and a police lieutenant colonel said.
And a bomb in a restaurant in the main northern city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province, wounded three people, a police captain said.
Deputy parliament speaker Aref Tayfour said in a statement that additional security measures were needed nationwide, and called on Iraqi politicians to avoid "speeches that can lead to more tension."
Political tensions have risen sharply in recent days after key Iraqi factions accused Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of orchestrating a slide away from the electoral process and towards dictatorship with the arrest of election commission chief Faraj al-Haidari last week.
Haidari and Karim al-Tamimi, another member of the Independent High Electoral Commission who was also detained for suspected corruption, were released on bail on Sunday. - Salam Faraj, Agence France-Presse