- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dozens were killed in early Wednesday morning bombings in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad, the latest in a surge of violence that’s resulted from a recent al Qaeda take-over of two major government holdings in Anbar province.

The death toll started at 21 and then rose to more than 50 by mid-morning, Reuters reported.

Nobody claimed immediate responsibility for the attacks, The Associated Press reported.

But al Qaeda’s most common militant tactic is to target civilians in cafes and other public spots, as a means of undermining the authority of the Shiite-dominated government.

The bombs all detonated within minutes of each other, AP said. The deadliest was in the northern Shula neighborhood of Baghdad, where five shoppers were killed and another 12 injured, police said. A second car bombing in central Karrada’s business district killed four and wounded 14, and a third blast down the road killed two and injured 10, police told the media outlet.

Meanwhile, four more civilians were killed and 11 injured in yet another car bombing in the shopping market area of Hussainya, AP reported. And the surge continued: In the eastern part of the city, a car bomb killed three and hurt 10 and in Maamil, several others were killed and wounded, police reported.

Al Qaeda militants have been battling government forces for control of Anbar’s provincial capital, Ramadi, and the city of Fallujah for months. Militants seized control of the key spots in those cities just recently, AP reported.



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