74 killed in terror attacks as Iraqis blame government

Iraqis angrily blamed the authorities on Sunday for failing to head off attacks that killed 74 people as they marked the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending Iraq`s deadliest Ramadan in years.

Updated: Aug 11, 2013, 20:54 PM IST

Baghdad: Iraqis angrily blamed the authorities on Sunday for failing to head off attacks that killed 74 people as they marked the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending Iraq`s deadliest Ramadan in years.

The international community roundly condemned the violence, which also wounded more than 320 people, but almost all senior Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, made no mention of the attacks.

It was the latest in months of bloodshed that have sparked fears of a return to the all-out sectarian war that peaked in 2006 and 2007 and left tens of thousands dead.

The attacks came just weeks after assaults on prisons near Baghdad, claimed by an al-Qaeda front group, freed hundreds of prisoners including leading militants, prompting warnings of a surge in violence.

Authorities, though, have highlighted major security operations -- among the largest since US forces departed in December 2011 -- which they say have led to the killing or capture of many militants.

But whatever gains the operations made, they did not stop yesterday`s bloodshed, and six people were killed in fresh violence today.

Iraqis voiced frustration with the government and security forces for failing to prevent the 16 car bombings and other attacks which killed 74 people, 47 of them in Baghdad yesterday.

"There will not be any improvement in the Iraqi situation," said a man who gave his name as Abu Samer, near the site of a twin car bombing in Shaab, north Baghdad, where eight people were killed.

"I cannot trust any politicians, because they make many promises, and the result of their work is what happens in our country each day."

The 64-year-old retired agricultural engineer said he hoped to send his children overseas, "far from what is happening in Iraq and Baghdad."

In east Baghdad, at the site of another car bombing, Ali al-Shammari said Iraq`s long-running political deadlock was to blame.

AFP

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