On Sunday news was delivered that a series of organized attacks ensued across Iraq, that appeared to have been staged by terrorists. The most dramatic scene was experienced in Hilla, where a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives at a police checkpoint located at the northern entrance of the city; killing at least 45 people and leaving 157 wounded.
It has been reported that the blast set fire to over 30 other vehicles with passengers stuck inside, while everything else around them was markedly damaged. The checkpoint buildings were completely destroyed and it had been reported that two employees of the Iraqi state-run news, who had been working at the office in Hilla, and five policemen were also killed.
The other assaults organized by terrorists on Sunday included: a militant launched attack on security forces and employees of the state-run oil company, which killed six people and wounded 16; a roadside bomb that detonated near an army patrol in Abu Ghraib, where a soldier was killed and three were injured; in the western province of Anbar, an area that had been seized by the military, two people were killed in a mortar and artillery shelling; and in the north an officer in the provincial intelligence service was shot dead by a gunman.
The organized attacks across Iraq on Sunday were suspected to be staged by a local group of terrorists, named The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group is an al-Qaida offshoot who have previously been held responsible for massive attacks similar to the one that occurred on Sunday. The group has yet to claim responsibility for the attacks.
The series that took place came just a few weeks before the scheduled elections in the country. Sectarian violence has been on the rise in the area as sectarian discontent between the Shi’ites and the Sunni have left the country divided. Since last April there has been a dramatic increase in violence, with death tolls ascending higher than previous numbers from 2006-2008 during Iraq’s perceived civil war. The U.N. reports that in 2013, 8,886 people were killed during the sectarian fueled conflict. This year 1,400 people have been killed in January and February alone.
This has been the deadliest series of attacks that the country has seen in 2014 so far. Fear that the al-Qaida based group of terrorists may have organized the series of attacks that were staged across Iraq, has led to concerns that terrorist group and other militia, whose intentions have been to undermine the government, are trying to destabilize the country. Should that be the case, it could lead to widespread violence reminiscent of what took place in years before. The deep sectarian divide within the country continues to threaten the lives of the Iraqi population. There is speculation of an upcoming Sunni revolt that could throw the country back into the days of civil war. At present, the Iraqi government has been fighting off the Islamist militant group in the western provinces of Iraq, where the militants hold their territory.
By Natalia Sanchez