Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Deadly bomb blasts hit Iraq

According to a number of sources, dozens of people have been killed and many injured in a series of bomb attacks across Iraq. At least four people died when two car bombs targeting Shi'a pilgrims went off in the town of Karbala.

Further bombings have been reported in Diwaniya, where an estimated 25 people died, and Taji. There has been a surge of attacks in Iraq in recent weeks; with highest number of deaths reported in June, since US troops withdrew in December.

It is thought that the Karbala attacks were targeting Shi'a pilgrims congregating before a religious ceremony on Friday 6 July. The attack is said to have injured at least 30 people.

According to Reuters news agency, a car bomb at a market in the city of Diwaniya killed at least 25 people and injured 40 others. While deadly blast in the Sunni city of Taji have killed three people and injured 15 more. According to AP news agency, a policeman was among the dead.

In other news, Iraq's oil revenues have dropped by 17.6 per cent from May to June. According to the government, this is due to dipping prices in the international market and the diversion of some production to meet domestic needs.

The violence-plagued country is heavily reliant on oil revenues, which make up about 95 per cent of the fragile democratic government's budget. Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said Iraq earned $6.453 billion in June, with an achieved average price of $90 p/b. May's revenues stood at $7.831 billion with an average price of $103.039 p/b. It is estimated that June's oil exports averaged out at 2.403 million b/d, down from an average of 2.452 million b/d in May as the ministry diverted some production to refineries.

Sources: AP, BBC News, Reuters

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

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