Heavy Casualties after Brutal Baghdad Terrorist Attack

Severe acts of terrorism ravaged Baghdad two weeks ago, killing nearly fifty civilians and wounding another hundred. The flood of car bombings and mass shootings targeted both Shiite and Sunni communities with no apparent motive. No organization has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Sunni insurgents linked to Al Qaeda, however, have been blamed for similar attacks in the past. The recent blasts have driven fear into the populace and reflect the drastic rise in Iraqi violence since the withdrawal of United States forces in late 2011.

A deadly 2007 insurgent bombing in Baghdad. Image by Jim Gordon.

Resembling similar bombings that were executed the Sunday prior to the attack, which claimed 21 lives, this recent assault has once again conveyed the wild unrest in Iraq. Attacks devastated a wide range of civilians, including Shiite Muslims who were preparing food for the poor and three Sunnis who fell victims to a car bomb outside a bakery. Bombs hit five public markets in multiple Baghdad neighborhoods and even demolished a cafe, leading to the deaths of five youths.

 Many of the bombs went off from 9 to 10 a.m. as civilians shopped during a short hiatus of the heavy rain over the area. “I just wanted to get breakfast for my kids,” said Muhsin Muntadhar, 45, who was seriously injured in one of the bomb blasts. “I never did something bad in my life. What did we do to deserve this? I hope one day I wake up from this nightmare.”

 The chaos was not restricted to bombings as gunmen opened fire, killing people like Colonel Sruit Hama, the head security official for  President Jalal Talabani.

 In total, there were at least eight explosions, seven of which were car bombs. Major bombings are becoming commonplace in Iraq, and the casualty toll for November 2013 has already broken 300. According to figures from the United Nations, more than 6,500 innocent people have lost their lives and 12,000 have been wounded in terrorist related attacks since the beginning of this year. The glaring problem of violence in Iraq needs to be combated or the future of Iraq and its people is sure to be bleak.

Sources

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/21/world/middleeast/dozens-killed-in-wave-of-attacks-in-baghdad.html

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/30/world/meast/iraq-violence/

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Nov-20/238404-spate-of-baghdad-bombings-kill-24-new-toll.ashx#axzz2lFLwMkhR

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/20/us-iraq-violence-idUSBRE9AJ0XU20131120

http://www.euronews.com/2013/11/20/baghdad-carnage-as-deadly-bomb-blasts-strike-six-districts-of-the-city/