At­tacks across Bagh­dad kill 15, wound over 50

Baltimore Sun - - WORLD - By Qassim Ab­dul-Zahra

BAGH­DAD — A se­ries of at­tacks across Bagh­dad, in­clud­ing an ex­plo­sion at a weapons ware­house that set off mu­ni­tions and sent a huge plume of smoke over the Iraqi cap­i­tal, killed 15 peo­ple and wounded over 50 Fri­day, au­thor­i­ties said.

The at­tacks un­der­score the poor se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the Iraqi cap­i­tal, which has been sub­ject to sev­eral re­cent large-scale at­tacks, in­clud­ing a July shop­ping cen­ter bomb­ing that killed nearly 300 peo­ple.

At least three rock­ets landed in eastern Bagh­dad, killing five peo­ple and wound­ing 15, po­lice of­fi­cials said.

The rock­ets that hit eastern Bagh­dad ap­pear to have been set off by a blast at a weapons stor­age fa­cil­ity, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice of­fi­cial.

Mem­bers of the pow­er­ful Shi­ite mili­tia group Asaib Ahl al-Haq were present at the scene of the at­tack. Po­lice of­fi­cials say it is un­clear which Shi­ite mili­tia the weapons store be­longed to.

In the pre­dom­i­nantly Sunni neigh­bor­hood of Ghaz­a­liya, a bomb struck a shop­ping street, killing two peo­ple and wound­ing eight, po­lice said.

Two bomb at­tacks on fruit and veg­etable mar­kets across the city killed five peo­ple and wounded 20, of­fi­cials from the In­te­rior Min­istry said.

A bomb at­tack on a com­mer­cial area in western Bagh­dad killed three peo­ple and wounded Smoke rises from build­ings in a north­east­ern neigh­bor­hood of Bagh­dad where sev­eral ex­plo­sions, in­clud­ing one at a weapons stor­age fa­cil­ity, rocked the area Fri­day. eight, ac­cord­ing to po­lice and hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials.

All of­fi­cials spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity as they were not au­tho­rized to talk to the me­dia.

Fri­day also marked the mar­tyr­dom an­niver­sary of the ninth Shi­ite Imam.

In Bagh­dad pil­grims de­scended on the Kad­himiya shrine in Bagh­dad to com­mem­o­rate the day, but none of the at­tacks wounded pil­grims or hit near the shrine.

No group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tacks, but the Is­lamic State group has of­ten said it was be­hind deadly bomb­ings tar­get­ing Shi­ite civil­ians in the Iraqi cap­i­tal, in­clud­ing the July shop­ping cen­ter at­tack.

Iraq’s army has pushed Is­lamic State mil­i­tants out of the ma­jor ci­ties of Ra­madi and Fal­lu­jah, and t he gov­ern­ment has pledged that it will re­take Mo­sul, one of the coun­try’slargest ci­ties, from the Is­lamic State group by the end of this year.

Thurs­day night, an at­tack on Iraqi se­cu­rity forces killed nine fight­ers and wounded 15, ac­cord­ing to Karim al-Nouri, the spokesman for Iraq’s gov­ern­ment- s an­c­tioned mainly Shi­ite mili­tias, known as the Pop­u­lar Mo­bi­liza­tion Forces.

He said that Shi­ite fight­ers were among the dead.

The Sala­hed­din Op­er­a­tions Com­mand — the unit that over­sees Iraqi mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in the prov­ince where Tikrit is lo­cated — con­firmed the at­tack.

It comes days af­ter Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-led coali­tion airstrikes, re­took a town south of the mil­i­tant-held city of Mo­sul.

Iraqi forces are con­duct­ing a num­ber of small-scale op­er­a­tions around Mo­sul in an ef­fort to cut Is­lamic State sup­ply lines.

AH­MAD AL-RUBAYE/GETTY-AFP

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