Dual car bombs rock Iraqi city

Deadly at­tacks have hall­marks of ISIS

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Mil­i­tants un­leashed dual car bomb at­tacks in south­ern Iraq yes­ter­day, killing at least 23 peo­ple and wound­ing dozens, of­fi­cials said.

A po­lice of­fi­cer said two parked ex­plo­sives­laden cars were det­o­nated within min­utes of each other around mid­day in the city of Sa­mawah. The first one near gov­ern­ment of­fices, while the sec­ond ex­ploded min­utes later at an open-air bus sta­tion. At least 42 other peo­ple were wounded in both ex­plo­sions and the po­lice of­fi­cial said the death toll was ex­pected to rise.

The Shia-dom­i­nated city is lo­cated about 370km south of the cap­i­tal, Bagh­dad.

No group had claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity last night for the at­tack, but it bore the hall­marks of ISIS. Com­mer­cial ar­eas and pub­lic spa­ces in ma­jor­ity-Shia towns and neigh­bour­hoods are among the most fre­quent tar­gets for the mil­i­tants, who view Shia Mus­lims as apos­tates and seek to un­der­mine gov­ern­ment ef­forts to main­tain se­cu­rity inside the cap­i­tal.

The at­tacks came hours af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Haider Al Abadi or­dered au­thor­i­ties to ar­rest and pros­e­cute pro­test­ers who at­tacked se­cu­rity forces, law­mak­ers and dam­aged state prop­erty af­ter breaking into Bagh­dad’s heav­ily for­ti­fied Green Zone to protest de­lays in re­form plans.

Al Abadi’s state­ment came a day af­ter hundreds of an­gry anti-gov­ern­ment fol­low­ers of in­flu­en­tial Shia cleric Muq­tada Al Sadr tore down blast walls and poured into the par­lia­ment build­ing, ex­ac­er­bat­ing a longsim­mer­ing po­lit­i­cal cri­sis. Late on Satur­day, al-Abadi toured inside the par­lia­ment build­ing, walk­ing past dam­aged fur­ni­ture.

Yes­ter­day, pro­test­ers vowed to con­tinue their sit-in inside the Green Zone un­til their

de­mands are met.

“We are fed up, we are liv­ing a hu­mil­i­ated life,” Ra­sool Has­san, a 37-year-old fa­ther of three said from inside the Green Zone where thou­sands gath­ered in Sad­dam-era Grand Cel­e­bra­tion Square. “We’ll leave here only when the cor­rupt gov­ern­ment is re­placed with an­other of independent tech­nocrats that serves the peo­ple not the po­lit­i­cal par­ties.”

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