Mosques and Shopping Centers Attacked in Baghdad and Muqdadiya

 Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest against the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Baghdad January 4, 2016. Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest against the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Baghdad January 4, 2016. © Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani

13 January 2016
Multiple suicide bombers and car bombs killed at least 51 people in a shopping center and two Mosques in Baghdad and Muqdadiya.

Over the past two weeks, at least seven Sunni mosques and dozens of shops in a shopping center were attacked through a series of suicide bombings in eastern Iraq. These attacks arose out of an apparent retaliation for the execution of a senior Shi’ite cleric in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia earlier this month. Militant group Daesh have claimed responsibility for the attacks that took place in Hilla, Baghdad, and Muqdadiya.

The first bombings took place in Hilla on the 3rd of January, when at least two mosques were attacked and one person was killed. This attack came a week after Iraqi troops and Sunni tribesmen took over Daesh control of central Ramadi. The most recent bombings took place on Monday, when gunmen entered a shopping center in Baghdad and detonated suicide vests as well as a car bomb nearby, killing at least 18 people and wounding 40 others. Later that day, two more bombs went off in Muqdadiya, killing at least 20 people and wounding another 50. Another explosion in southeastern Baghdad killed seven more. Among the victims were policemen, but no hostages had been taken. A suicide bomber detonated his vest inside a casino in Muqdadiya, and a car bomb exploded outside the casino as medics and civilians were gathering at the site of the blast in the casino.

These attacks have resulted in the biggest death toll in the past three months. During the attacks, people would run and attempt to hide but were followed by the militants that opened fire on them. Police reports and local residents of Muqdadiya state that gunmen had been patrolling the city and warning families to leave the city.

Iraqi officials condemned the mosque attacks and bombings, with the head of Iraq’s government body overseeing Sunni religious sites, Abdul Lateef Al Himayim calling them “a desperate attempt to destroy Iraqi unity.” The United Nations warned that mosque bombings could “take the country back into the dark days of sectarian strife.”

 

To read more, visit:

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-at-least-51-killed-in-attacks-in-iraqi-capital-eastern-town-islamic-state-claims-responsibility-2164763
http://www.smh.com.au/world/at-least-48-killed-in-attacks-in-iraqi-capital-eastern-town-20160111-gm3qwk.html
http://www.jordantimes.com/news/region/sunni-mosques-east-iraq-attacked-after-daesh-claimed-blasts
http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/860346
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-violence-idUSKBN0UI0SE20160104
http://www.ibtimes.com/iraqi-sunni-mosques-attacked-apparent-retaliation-saudi-execution-224744

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