Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

16 dead in Iraq suicide attacks

Members of Iraq's security forces gather next to the ruins of the Baquba headquarters of the Force Protection Service (FPS) on January 19, 2011 where a suicide bomber rammed an ambulance packed with explosives killing 13 people. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Baquba, Iraq (AFP) Jan 19, 2011
A suicide bomber rammed an ambulance packed with explosives into a security headquarters on Wednesday, killing 14 people in the second major attack against Iraqi forces in as many days.

Another suicide attack in a nearby town killed two others and wounded a top provincial official, shattering a relative calm in Iraq since the formation of a new government by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last month.

"I was on my way to the market close to the building when I saw the ambulance arrive at the entrance," 53-year-old Sumaya Sabr, who suffered wounds to her head in the first blast, said from her hospital bed in Baquba, capital of Diyala province and site of the first attack.

"The guards tried to speak to the driver, and when they got close to the ambulance, it blew up. I can't remember anything else -- I woke up in the hospital."

The blast killed 14 people and wounded 120 others, according to Faris al-Azzawi, a spokesman for the provincial health department.

The morning bombing in central Baquba, a restive and ethnically mixed city north of Baghdad, targeted an office of the Force Protection Service (FPS), the agency responsible for securing government buildings.

The explosion also damaged nearby buildings, including Al-Batool women and children's hospital, an AFP journalist said.

Three young children and their teacher were also wounded at a nursery school, an official at Diyala Operations Command said.

Local officials imposed a vehicle curfew on Baquba, not allowing any cars in or out, and security forces cordoned off the scene of the blast.

The operations command official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the FPS office had received a call from an individual purporting to work for the provincial health department, notifying them that an ambulance would be arriving, helping the attacker approach his target.

About 90 minutes later in the nearby town of Ghalbiyah, a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-filled car in the midst of a crowd of Shiite pilgrims, killing two people and wounding 15 others, Azzawi said.

An official in the provincial security command confirmed the death toll but said 16 people were wounded.

Among the wounded were Diyala deputy governor Sadiq al-Husseini and three of his bodyguards, and two media employees of a local satellite channel, Diyala TV.

Husseini was visiting with worshippers as they gathered ahead of commemorations for Arbaeen, which marks 40 days since the anniversary of the death of the revered 7th century Shiite Imam Hussein.

"I was in the procession tent when a VIP arrived with several cars and guards around him," said Zaid Essam, one of the wounded pilgrims, speaking from Baquba hospital.

"When he came close to the tent, an unmarked car suddenly came from the opposite side, trying to enter the tent to target him. But, because there were several obstacles protecting the tent, the car exploded outside and everything was thrown into the air."

Diyala was an Al-Qaeda stronghold as recently as 2008. While violence has dropped off dramatically both in Diyala and nationwide since then, the province remains one of Iraq's least secure.

The attacks came a day after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed vest in the midst of a crowd of police recruits in Tikrit, also north of Baghdad, killing 50 people and wounding up to 150.

It was the deadliest attack to hit Iraq in more than two months, and the first major strike since Maliki named a new cabinet on December 21, ending nine months of stalemate after March elections.

Despite forming a government a month ago, Maliki has yet to name an interior, defence or national security minister, leaving him temporarily in charge of Iraq's entire security apparatus.

Tikrit's police chief Colonel Ibrahim al-Juburi and the head of the city's emergency response squad, Brigadier General Mohammed Majeed, were fired in the aftermath of the blast.

Maliki condemned the Tikrit attack, saying "terrorists" had once again targeted the innocent.

"Once again the terrorists returned to their usual tactics of killing the innocent and targeting the brave young people who wanted to serve their country and defend it," he said.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Iraq inquiry slams UK officials over secret memos
London (AFP) Jan 18, 2011
The head of Britain's Iraq war inquiry rebuked the government Tuesday for refusing to publish memos that Tony Blair wrote to George Bush ahead of the 2003 invasion, as public hearings resumed in London. John Chilcot's criticism came just days before former British prime minister Blair was due to make his second appearance before the inquiry on Friday, following a highly charged session in Ja ... read more

ATM Is Readied For Its February Launch On Ariane 5

ISRO To Launch Two Communication Satellites This Year

Arianespace Will Have A Record Year Of Launch Activity In 2011

2011: The Arianespace Family Takes Shape

Scanning The Red Planet

Mars Desert Research Station 2011 Field Season Begins

Rover Continues To Explore Santa Maria Crater

NASA tries to awaken mars rover

Lunar water may have come from comets - scientists

Moon Has Earth-Like Core

The Hunt For The Lunar Core

Rocket City Space Pioneers Announce Partnership With Solidworks

Mission To Pluto And Beyond Marks 10 Years Since Project Inception

Kuiper Belt Of Many Colors

Inclined Orbits Prevail In Exoplanetary Systems

Planet Affects A Star's Spin

Kepler Mission Discovers Its First Rocky Planet

NASA spots tiny Earth-like planet, too hot for life

Indonauts Must Wait For A Better Rocket

Canada says it could build launch rockets

ISRO Scanning Data For GSLV Flop

J-2X Turbomachinery Complete

China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport

Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing

China-Made Satellite Keeps Remote Areas In Venezuela Connected

Optis Software To Optimize Chinese Satellite Design

NASA Radar Reveals Features on Asteroid

A Look Into Vesta's Interior

Dawn Has A Consistent 2010

Asteroid Itokawa Sample Return

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement