Friday, 28 January 2011

A suicide car bomber kills 48 people in Shi'a area of Baghdad

A suicide car bomber targeting a public funeral, in the predominantly Shi'a area of Baghdad, has killed 48 people and left 121 seriously injured. According reports, the mourners attacked the police, as it arrived in the north-western Shula district, for failing to provide sufficient protection.

It is thought that the attack may have been masterminded by a Sunni terrorist group, linked to the Al-Qai'da, known for attacking public gatherings. The latest attack on Shi'a Muslims comes after a number of bombing killed dozens of Shi'a pilgrims during a religious celebration in the holy city of Karbala last week. Over the course of the last month, a spate of bombings against pilgrims and Iraqi security officers has killed more than 170 people.

Eyewitness reports suggested that the police fired into the air to disperse the crowds, but came under attack from armed gunmen. In order to stop the situation escalating further, the military was deployed to the town to restore order.

The country's security is a prevailing issue, magnified by the withdrawal of US troops, that shall present a challenge to Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and his coalition government.

Sources: BBC News, Los Angeles Times , FT, Miami Herald, The Independent

For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.

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