Two bombings near Iraq’s capital, one is a suicide bombing in a Shi’ite area of the city, which killed over 15 people on Monday. The suicide bomb killed 13 people and wounded more than 40 when it went off in the early morning.
Eyewitnesses say the bomber was a young boy using a vest to detonate the bomb. He was seen in a crowded town square just before the blast. The commuter traffic bustling in Aden square was hit with the blast. He is presumably affiliated with the Sunni militants who often target the Shi’ite communities. Although no rebel group claimed the attack, officials think that it was the doing of a Sunni community showing hatred towards Shi’ites.
The second bombing was in a suburban area outside of the capital. It is estimated that four people died. The blast hit right after a night that consisted of a series of blast that killed around 40 people. Days after the state demanded curfew was lifted; these bombs were detonated in the early hours of Monday.
Two days prior to the attacks, Iraq’s Prime Minister lifted the curfew that was originally at midnight, to 5 AM. Since 2013, Iraq has witnessed a spike in the amount of violent attacks. Last year alone there were over 15,000 deaths due to violence.
Ever since the U.S.’s withdrawal in 2011, the Iraq government has struggled with imposing laws that will help reduce crime rates. U.S. officials recently released a statement saying more air strikes would begin in Iraq following the killing of the Jordanian pilot. It is evident that these suicide bombings were an unhappy response to these plans. Jordan promised a brutal retaliation the to killing of the pilot, and thy have delivered. Over 40 air strikes have already been launched in response. The strikes have already hit dozens of targets but the violence continues. The suicide bomber that killed over 15 people was only one of the multiple attacks this week.
Iraqi forces have also recently began to carry out counter attacks in and around Baghdad however, little progress has been made with reducing the amount of violent rebel attacks. ISIS’s response to the Jordan threats are only just beginning.
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, tells the Munich security conference that progress has been made as a result of the U.S. coalition attacks. The air strikes have helped reclaim land that was taken over by ISIS and other extremist groups. However, he did not specify where the land that was recaptured was located; whether it was in Syria or Iraq.
This past January alone, over 1,500 deaths related to these types of killings have been recorded. 500 of these deaths consisted of Iraqi soldiers fighting the war against ISIS.
The suicide bomber in Baghdad that killed over 15 civilians was only one attack of many in the past two weeks. Despite the violence, the Iraqi government is continuing to try and normalize the civilian lifestyle in the capital by changing curfews and other forms of military rule.
Written by Audrey Madden
Photo by – Daniel Herrera – Creative Commons License