Iraq

11 SHIA MARTYRS IN FRESH VIOLENCE IN IRAQ

jos_iraq_blastAn apparently co-ordinated series of attacks targeting security forces and a Shiite mosque in Iraq martyred 31 people on Monday in the worst violence to hit the country in more than a fortnight.

“The attacks started at 6:30 am (0330 GMT) and ended around 8:00 am (0500 GMT),

” the official said, noting that nearly all of the wounded were security personnel. A double bomb attack near the mosque in Suwayrah, 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of the capital, killed 11 people and wounded 70, a police lieutenant told AFP.

 

The bloodshed began in Baghdad where shootings with automatic weapons against six police or army checkpoints in eastern and western sectors of the city accounted for seven of the dead, an interior ministry official said. Two other policemen died in three bombings in south and west Baghdad.

Monday’s death toll was the highest since April 23, when 58 people were killed in series of bombings in Baghdad and western Iraq, days after the government said Al-Qaeda was on the run. There were around 20 attacks in total on Monday.

Major General Qassim Atta, a security forces spokesman in Baghdad, said the attacks appeared to be coordinated. The latest violence came as Iraq headed towards forming a new government, two months after elections in which no clear winner emerged.

Electoral officials said on Sunday that results from the March 7 vote neared finalization with totals from all but one province sent for ratification. A recount in the lone exception, Baghdad, is more than half done.

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