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article imageOp-Ed: 55 killed and hundreds wounded in Iraq violence

By Ken Hanly     Jan 16, 2013 in World
Baghdad - In Kirkuk, a suicide bomber detonated his car outside the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, while nearby another car bomb exploded close to the Criminal Investigations Bureau. This second blast may have targeted a KDP official.
At least 26 people were killed and more than 200 injured by the twin blasts. There were many officials and security personnel among the casualties. Several buildings were severely damaged and others were reduced to rubble by the powerful bombs. The KDP is the party of the president of the Kurdish regional government Massoud Barzani. There was also a third bombing in Kirkuk that wounded four people.
In Tuz Khormato a suicide attack killed five people and wounded 40. The target was a security center. Offices of another Kurdish party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan are close by the security center. There are high tensions in the city among Kurds, Arabs, and also Turkmen. The Kurdish regional government and the Iraqi central government disagree as to where the border of the regional government should be.
West of Baghdad a roadside bomb went off as a convoy of vehicles went by carrying people mourning the death of Sunni MP Eifan al-Issawi, who was killed the previous day by a suicide bomber in Fallujah. This blast wounded four people and damaged two vehicles. Issawi was a former leader of the Awakening Councils, a group formed and financed by the US to combat Al Qaeda. Probably these attacks are by Al Qaeda members who seek revenge against him.
In Baghdad itself, three policemen were killed when gunmen attacked their vehicle in the al-Shaab district of the capital. In the same area a roadside bomb damaged a police vehicle wounding five police.
Al Qaeda is gaining recruits in Iraq, as the Sunni minority are increasingly sidelined by the Maliki government. However, other forces as well are responsible for the violence as conflict between the Kurds and the central government increases, and Maliki represses opposition forces while fueling sectarian splits.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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