By Ali Al-Bassam
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq was struck with a wave of attacks last Wednesday, killing 29 people and injuring 235 people. The attacks occurred within Baghdad and in northern Iraq. The attacks are considered, so far, to be the deadliest of the year.
Wednesday’s attacks were aimed at Kurdish targets within the north. In Kirkuk, two suicide bombers targeted an office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Another blast appeared to target a compound housing local offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish Regional President. Sadiq Omar Rasul, Provincial Health Chief of the region, said that a car bomb killed at least 26 people and wounded 190 others.
In the town of Tuz Khurmatu, located north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed five people and wounded 40 others. The attack happened near the offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan of Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi President.
In Baghdad, officials said that five attacks killed six people, while bombings in the towns of Baiji, Hawija, and Tikrit, all north of Baghdad, killed three people and wounded seven others.
According to an AFP tally, Wednesday’s overall death toll was the highest since December 17.
The attacks occurred a day after the killing of Eifan Saadoun Al-Issawi, a Sunni member of Parliament. He was killed by a suicide bomber who pretended to meet him and then blew himself up. The assassination occurred in the Anbar Province west of Baghdad, an area of Iraq which has seen heavy protests by the Sunni minority against the Shi’ite-led government. “The moment he stepped out of the car to check out this road between Fallujah and Amiriya, at this moment there was a man,” said Sohaib Haqi, an aide to Al-Issawi. “He came to him, hugged him, said ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is great’), and blew himself up.” The attack also killed two bodyguards, while several other people within the vicinity of the blast were injured.
On Wednesday, hundreds of mourners attended Al-Issawi’s funeral outside of the predominately Sunni town of Fallujah. A spokesman for the Anbar Provincial Council said that officials declared a three day mourning period in Al-Issawi’s honor.
The violence follows a political crisis which has pitted Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki against several of his ministers in provincial elections, which measures support given to the ministers respectively in the run up to the general election which occurs next year. Anti-government demonstrations have also swept the Sunni-majority areas of the nation. Demonstrators believe that Sunnis have been targeted and arrested by the Shi’ite led government under anti-terror law.
For further information, please see:
Al Arabiya — Wave of Iraq Attacks Kill 29 — 16 January 2013
Al Jazeera — Deadly Suicide Blasts Strike Iraq’s North — 16 January 2013
Al Bawaba — Iraq’s Protest Region Faces Suicide Bomb Attack — 15 January 2013
BBC News — Iraq Sunni MP Killed by Suicide Bomber — 15 January 2013