Twin attacks target Baghdad leaders

Two attacks in Baghdad have targeted both the city's mayor and the head of Sadr City's municipal council.

Twin attacks target Baghdad leaders

Two attacks in Baghdadhave targeted both the city's mayor and the head of Sadr City'smunicipal council, the Associated Press has reported.

Rahim al-Darraji, the mayorof Sadr city, was seriously wounded and when of his bodyguards were killed whenhis convoy was attacked in eastern Baghdadon Thursday.

Elsewhere Sabir al-Issawi,the head of Baghdad'scity council, was wounded when a car bomb exploded beside hisconvoy killing eight policemen and soldiers.

The bombing, whichpolice said was a suicide attack, occurred on Kahramana Square in the capital's centralKarrada district.

Rahim al-Darraji's convoy wasattacked in a drive-by shooting in the mostly Shia area of Habibiyah.

He had been involved innegotiations with US and Iraqi government officials seeking to persuade theShia militias that dominate the sprawling slum to pull their fighters off thestreets.


A car bombalso exploded next to a bus carrying state employees in the Iraqitown of Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 24,a police source said on Thursday.

The blastfrom a parked car in Iskandiriya hit a bus carrying workers for a statemechanical industry company, police said.
Two days ago a senior executive in the company was killed by gunmen in thetown, 40km from the Iraqi capital.

The attackwill deal a blow to attempts by the Iraqi government to revitalise thecountry's near-dormant industrial sector.

Police saidthe blast occurred outside the Mechanical Industrial Development vehicleconcern, one of the few factories still operating in Iraq, at about 8:15am (0515 GMT) asworkers were arriving for the morning shift.

Iskandiriyahas a number of factories but many are closed or operating at minimum capacity.

The US military said the three soldiers were killedwhile nine were injured in Diyala province, where reinforcements were sent thisweek as part of a US troop"surge" to quell violence in Baghdadand surrounding areas.

The deathsbrought to 3,203 the USmilitary's losses in Iraqsince the invasion, according to an AFP count based on Pentagon figures.


US andIraqi forces are one month into a crackdown in the capital, but US commandershave said that some fighters are regrouping and moving out of Baghdad, intensifying their attacks in thesurrounding area.

The areaimmediately south of Baghdad, with a mixedpopulation of Sunni Arabs and Shias, is one of many in Iraq that hasseen relentless violence.

MajorGeneral William Caldwell said on Wednesday murders and executions in thecapital had been halved in the past month, but that "sensational" carbombs blamed on al-Qaeda and other Sunni Arab armed groups had spiked inFebruary.

He said US forces were focusing their efforts on findingcar bomb factories believed to be on the outskirts of Baghdad and in the beltway around it.

A Pentagonreport released on Wednesday said Iraq had faced the maximum numberof attacks since the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, the formerpresident, during the last quarter of 2006.

The reportsaid: "Although most attacks continue to be directed against coalitionforces, Iraqi civilians suffer the vast majority of the casualties."

A chartshowed a surge in sectarian incidents between September and December withmurders spiking to about 1,300 in December alone, from less than 100 in January2006.

During thelast three months of the year, Baghdadexperienced a record 45 attacks a day, it said. 

USmilitary reports losses

The US military on Thursday reported the deaths ofthree USsoldiers, two in blasts and one hit by small-arms fire in Diyala province. 

US soldiersalso killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded three more during a raid on an allegedan al-Qaeda network in the northern city of Mosul, the military said on Thursday.

Theincident occurred when US-led forces came under small-arms fire during theraid. 

A militarystatement said: "Coalition forces returned fire, killing one and woundingthree others. Coalition forces later identified the armed men as Iraqi armysoldiers.

It said theincident is being investigated.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16