Twin bombings kill at least 24 in Iraq

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Wednesday, 22 June 2011

shiitenews_Twin_bombings_kill_at_least_24_in_IraqAt least 24 people were killed early Tuesday in south-central Iraq when two car bombs detonated at a heavily fortified government compound in Diwaniyah province, a predominantly Shiite area that until now had largely escaped the violence that continues to grip the country.

The explosions detonated moments apart at a compound that includes both the governor’s home and the provincial government
 headquarters, underscoring how even well-guarded facilities in Iraq remain vulnerable to attack. Such twin bombings have become the hallmark for insurgents seeking to inflict mass casualties on first-responders and Iraqi army units.

Initially, a car bomb detonated near the gate of Gov. Hussein Alwan’s home in the city of Diwaniyah about 7 a.m., resulting in only minor damage and no casualties, Iraqi security forces said. But when police and emergency personnel gathered at the scene to investigate, a second car bomb exploded, sending bodies flying through the air.

At least 24 people were killed and more than 40 people were injured, according to the Health Department in Diwaniyah province. Most of the killed and injured were police or security personnel, officials said.

Diwaniyah is located about 80 miles south of Baghdad. Unlike many other areas of Iraq, local officials say, there have been relatively few attacks on Iraqis there in the years following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

In both that incident and in Tuesday’s bombings in Diwaniyah, local officials said they suspect al-Qaeda in Iraq or one its affiliates to be responsible.

Elsewhere, in Musayab in Babel Province southern Iraq, at least two people were killed and eight others wounded when an explosion tore though a cafe Tuesday, according to Iraqi security officials.

Other potential attacks were thwarted Tuesday. Iriqya TV reported that Iraqi security officials killed two men and arrested three others when they attempted to launch rockets in Baghdad.

Security officials in Ramadi in Anbar Province in western Iraq also intercepted two cars packed with explosives Tuesday. The drivers of the vehicles, who were arrested, were apparently attempting to bomb the headquarters of the Anbar Provincial Council, according to security officials.

Even as security officials respond to the attacks and attempted violence, Baghdad is preparing for an annual pilgrimage next week when hundreds of thousands of Shiites will walk to a shrine where a revered holy figure is buried.

The pilgrims, who walk from Adhamiyah across a bridge spanning the Tigris River into Kadhimiyah, have been targeted in recent years by Sunni terrorists. Last year, more than 43 people were killed in separate attacks on the pilgrims.

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