Dual car bombs rock Iraqi city
Deadly attacks have hallmarks of ISIS
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.”