Wave of bombing across Iraq leaves 26 dead
BY Associated Press
Monday, October 01, 2012
10/01/12 at 5:39 AM
A series of coordinated bombings shattered Shiite neighborhoods and struck at Iraqi security forces Sunday, killing at least 26 in attacks that one official described as a rallying call by al-Qaida just days after dozens of militants escaped from prison.
The blasts brought September's death toll from sectarian violence to nearly 200 people - a grim, above-average monthly total for the period since U.S. troops left last year. The steady pace of attacks has worked to undermine confidence in the government.
Police said the wave of explosions stretched from the restive but oil-rich city of Kirkuk in the north to the southern Shiite town of Kut, wounding at least 94 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but bombings are a hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency that has been struggling for years to goad Shiite militias back toward civil war.
A key Shiite lawmaker said the bombings likely sought to galvanize al-Qaida in the wake of a prison break last Friday in Saddam Hussein's northern hometown of Tikrit. Scores of inmates escaped - including as many as 47 convicted al-Qaida militants - in a massive security lapse that the government acknowledged had help from inside.
"Al-Qaida leaders have no intention of leaving this country or letting Iraqis live in peace," said Hakim al-Zamili, a Shiite member of parliament's security committee. "The jailbreak in Tikrit has boosted al-Qaida's morale in Iraq and thus we should expect more attacks in the near future.
"The situation in Iraq is still unstable," al-Zamili added. "And repetition of such attacks shows that our security forces are still unqualified to deal with the terrorists."
Original Print Headline: Iraq bombings kill 26, wound dozens