Car bombings, shootings kill 22, wound 80 in Iraq
BAGHDAD (CNN) — At least 22 people were killed and more than 80 wounded Sunday in several car explosions and shootings in Iraq, including an attack on an Iraqi army base, authorities said.
The war in Syria and sectarian tensions have played a part in the recent surge in violence in Iraq. The United Nations said 2013 was the deadliest year in Iraq since 2008, with almost 8,000 people killed, most of them civilians. Fears of all-out sectarian war have increased after violence that broke out in Anbar province in recent days.
On Sunday, the most fatalities occurred when men with small firearms attacked the army base in Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad, police said.
The attackers fled into a nearby area. Police said the Iraqi Army opened fire on the area and targeted it using helicopters. At least eight civilians were killed and 17 others wounded. It is not clear whether the casualties included any attackers.
CNN has not been able to reach the Iraqi Ministry of Defense spokesman for comment on the incident.
Police officials in Salaheddin province north of Baghdad said at least four people were killed and 26 others wounded in a double bombing Sunday evening.
A parked car bomb, followed by a motorcycle with a cart attached to it, detonated in a busy part of the town of Tuz Khurmato, police said. The town is an ethnically mixed part of Salaheddin province and is home to Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds.
Three people were killed and 12 wounded when a car bomb exploded at a bus station in central Baghdad, police said.
The parked car bomb targeted Iraqi army recruits who were returning home after submitting applications to join the army, police said.
The attack is the second in less than a week targeting recruits in the Iraqi capital city. On Thursday, a suicide bomber killed at least 13 people and injured 25 others at an army recruitment center in central Baghdad.
At least four people were killed and 14 others wounded Sunday when a car bomb detonated in a predominantly Shiite area in the Iraqi capital, police said.
The parked car detonated in Adan Square in the Kadhimiya district of northern Baghdad. The attack happened at noon, an hour when the area is usually crowded.
In the northern city of Mosul, a bomb targeted members of the Iraqi security forces, killing at least one officer and wounding six others.
Police said the bomb was attached to a vehicle belonging to the Facilities Protection Services.
Earlier, at least one person was killed and 11 others wounded in a car bombing south of Mosul.
The parked car exploded near a sheep market in the Hamam al-Aleel area, police said.
Gunmen shot and killed a local television presenter outside his home in Mosul.
Mohammed Ramadan al-Hadidi, who hosted a show on herbal medicine on Nineveh al-Ghad TV, was shot by unidentified gunmen as he left his house in the western part of the city.
A local journalist told CNN that the journalists union received a text message Sunday threatening to target journalists in Nineveh province. The message was signed by al Qaeda-linked groups in the province.
In another incident Sunday, an Iraqi journalist was wounded along with a driver when a bomb attached to the car they were in detonated south of Mosul. The journalist works for the city’s Mosuliya TV channel.
Late last year, a 19-year-old anchor for the same channel was shot dead outside her home in the city.
Last month, a news anchor and four other people were killed in a suicide bombing after armed militants stormed a TV complex in Tikrit, Over the past decade, Iraq has been one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists, who have been frequently targeted by militants.
Mosul, the provincial capital of the predominantly Sunni Nineveh province, is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Baghdad.
Security forces in Mosul say they have detained 137 suspects belonging to a Sunni-led group tied to al Qaeda, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, in a series of raids in the city over the past seven days.
Local residents say tensions have been rising in the city since violence erupted in Anbar province.
At least 60 people have been killed and 297 wounded since the most recent round of violence started December 1 in embattled Anbar province, officials have said.
Most victims were civilians, Ramadi and Falluja health officials said on Friday.
Fighting has raged between al Qaeda-linked fighters and government troops in Falluja.