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Terrorism & Security

Spate of deadly bombings rock Iraq before Shiite holy month

At least 14 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a series of apparently coordinated explosions in cities across Iraq.

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The good news for Maliki is that he's unlikely to lose the battle with Sunni insurgents. They remain a minority in Iraq, and Maliki's forces are better armed and far more numerous. The goal for Iraq's jihadis has all along been to drive the country into a vicious sectarian civil war, which they hope will create enough chaos to topple the government. But they actually succeeded in getting their wish in 2006, when the destruction of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra unleashed the most vicious wave of sectarian massacres of the whole war. The result? Tens of thousands more dead, but ultimately Iraq's new Shiite government was more entrenched than ever.

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Latin America Editor

Whitney Eulich is the Monitor's Latin America editor, overseeing regional coverage for and the weekly magazine. She also curates the Latin America Monitor Blog.

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The bad news for Iraq is something else again. It remains among the most violent countries on earth and while rich in oil, its economy remains moribund. International investors are not exactly rushing to place their bets on a country that is as corrupt as it is dangerous.

Today's deadliest attacks took place in the city of Kirkuk, about 175 miles north of Baghdad. The oil-rich region is home to Kurds, Arabs, and Turkomen, all of whom are competing to control Kirkuk, reports the Associated Press.

The first bomb detonated in a parked car near the Kurdish political party’s offices there this morning, and a second bomb exploded when medical personnel and rescuers arrived on the scene. Five were killed in what is often referred to as a “double bombing,” a well-known insurgent tactic, reports the AP.

Although violence across Iraq has dropped precipitously since its height in 2006 and 2007, September was the deadliest month in Iraq in the past two years, with a death toll of 365 people, according to Voice of America.

An hour after the first bombs in Kirkuk, another five people were killed by an explosion in a parked car near an Iraqi army patrol in the nearby city of Hawija, reports AP.

Some 60 miles south of Baghdad in the town of Hilla, another car bomb detonated. "A car bomb exploded near a secondary school for girls and a crowded poultry market, leaving four dead, including innocent students. It's a real vicious terrorist act," Hamza Kadhim, a local official in Hilla told Reuters. 

Blasts were also reported in Baghdad's Firdous Square, and in the central province of Diyala.


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