At Least 63 Dead As Violence Sweeps Across Baghdad After US Departure

Less than a week after the last U.S. convoy crossed from Iraq into Kuwait violence has swept across Baghdad killing at least 63 and wounding nearly 200 people.  This is the worst violence, organized to wreak havoc after the U.S. leaves the country.  At least 12 blasts went off around nine neighborhoods across the city.  The blasts ranged from sticky bombs attached to vehicles, to roadside bombs and  vehicles loaded with explosives.  Four car-bombs and ten  improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated, according to officials.

While most of the blasts seem to be directed at Shia neighborhoods, some also hit Sunni areas.  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi’a. opened a political feud just one day after the U.S. left the Iraq and issued an arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, accusing him of terrorism.  Maliki also called for a no-confidence motion against the Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Salem al-Mutlag.  (More on Iraq’s Deepening Political Crisis)

Earlier reports indicated that the worst of the violence occurred in al-Amal neighbourhood where seven people were killed in a blast that appeared to target rescuers and officials who came to the scene after a previous explosion. At least four people were killed in one western Baghdad neighbourhood when two roadside bombs exploded.

All the information came from police and hospital officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.  CBC

The attacks, which appeared to have been coordinated occurred  6:30 am local time (10:30pm EST).  According to some witnesses, many roads and government offices remained closed after the blasts.  Around 2:00 pm local time life in Baghdad took on a semblance of almost normal.  According to a spokesman of the Operations Command, all of the attacks were random and were not targeted at any particular establishments.  No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.  Analysts say the level of co-ordination suggests a planning capability only available to al-Qaeda in Iraq, which is a mainly Sunni insurgent group.

The Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Ussama Alnujaf, has called on leaders of political factions to gather on Friday to discuss security concerns.

The United States ended the war in Iraq under criticism by some that it was rushed to fulfill an Obama campaign promise.  Military commanders had recommended that 20-40 thousand American troops remain in Iraq to provide the security.  The Obama Administration was unable to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement that would exempt U.S. Forces

from being tried under Iraqi law.   The Pentagon believes it has enough U.S. troops in the region to respond to any crisis.

4487 American soldiers were killed during Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, with just over 32,000 wounded in action.


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Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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