Bomb blasts ripped through more than a dozen Iraqi cities Monday, killing 60 security forces and civilians in the worst attack this year, one that highlighted al Qaeda’s resolve and ability to wreak havoc.
The bloodbath comes less than two weeks after Iraqi officials said they would be open to a small number of U.S. forces staying in the country past a Dec. 31 withdrawal deadline.
The blasts were coordinated to go off Monday morning and included parked car bombs, roadside bombs, a suicide bomber driving a vehicle that rammed into a police station and even bombs attached to lightpoles. The scope of the violence — seven explosions went off in different towns in Diyala province alone — emphasized that insurgents are still able to carry out attacks despite repeated crackdowns by Iraqi and U.S. forces.
The violence struck from the northern city of Kirkuk to the capital of Baghdad to the southern Shiite cities of Najaf, Kut and Karbala, and emphasized the persistent ability of insurgents to wreak havoc at a time when Iraqi officials are weighing whether they are able to protect the country without the assistance of American troops. “These attacks… are trying to influence the security situation and undermine confidence in the security forces,” Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad security operations, told Reuters. He blamed al-Qaida-linked groups.
The worst violence came in the southern city of Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, where twin explosions went off as construction workers were gathered in a market selling generators and other appliances. The blasts were the first major act of violence since Iraq’s political leaders earlier this month announced that they would begin negotiations with the United States over whether to keep a small number of American forces in the country past Dec. 31. The last such single large bombing came on July 5, when 37 people died during an explosion in Taji, north of Baghdad.
All American forces are to leave the country by the end of this year but both Iraqi and U.S. officials have expressed concern about the ability of Iraqi forces to protect the country. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s attacks.
Seems like this shyte in Iraq is never going to come an end….especially if they have no idea why folks are bombing, pure craziness.