ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Bombs go off in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Samarra, Dibis and
Taji. No one has yet claimed responsibility but sources in Kirkuk tell AsiaNews
that factional divisions among Iraqi parties are to blame.
Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - A series of blasts claimed 21 lives this morning in
Baghdad, Kirkuk, Samarra, Dibis and Taji. Iraq's security forces and politicians
appear to be the main target, including Health Minister Majeed Hamad Amin and
Falah Abdul Rahman Mohammed, chairman of the Kirkuk Investment Commission. Today
was the deadliest day in Iraq since 20 March, when shootings and bombings killed
55 people and wounded 255 nationwide.
In Baghdad, five blasts struck in various Shia neighbourhoods, killing seven
people. Three blasts occurred in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, killing nine. In
Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, a suicide bomber blew himself up killing
a police officer.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. Sources in Kirkuk told
AsiaNews that they appear to be connected with factional fighting among
Targets also included prominent military officers, police officials and
businessmen. In Kurdistan, "the first bomb went off in Mileh, an Arab village 45
km from Kirkuk, killing five people. The second attack came in Baghdad road near
Miqdad, causing two deaths and 15 wounded."
Sources say the target was Col Taha Salaheddin, a Turkmen and Kirkuk police
chief, who was wounded.
"A few minutes later, another explosion occurred near the home of Falah Abdul
Rahman Mohammed, a businessman and chairman of the Kirkuk Investment Commission.
Two police officers were killed and four guards wounded," the sources added.
Experts believe the spate of attacks to be connected with growing tensions
between Sunnis and Shias after the departure of US troops last December and the
arrest order issued by Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki, a Shia, against Vice
President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni.
Sources told AsiaNews that the 27 million-nation is breaking apart
along confessional lines, completing a process of the partition that would
divide the country into a majority Shia region (61 per cent of the population)
and a minority Sunni zone (34 per cent, 17 per cent of whom are minority
If this were ever to pass, the country's Christian and Yazidi minorities (4
per cent) could disappear. At present, they have already been reduced by half.