Multiple car bombings killed at least 30 people in Baghdad on Saturday, according to police and medics. The blasts happened in Shiite Muslim areas of the Iraqi capital.
There was no claim of responsibility for the coordinated car bombings. But al Qaeda’s Iraq branch has been responsible for similar attacks in the past.
All of the bombs were timed to detonated after the breaking of the daily Ramadan fast when more people will be out shopping or spending time in coffee shops, reports Yahoo! News.
Saturday’s Baghdad car bombings started with an explosion on a busy shopping street that shook buildings. That attack killed nine people and wounded 17 more.
Then, similar car bombs struck in Tobchi district and Baiyaa in western Baghdad. The Tobchi blast killed eight and wounded 29, while Baiyaa killed three and wounded 13. Another detonated in southeastern Zafaraniyah, killing six and wounding 15 more.
Two other car bombs exploded in New Baghdad and Shurta, killing seven and wounding 23. Along with the Baghdad car bombings, gunmen in pickup trucks also shot and killed the leader of a local Sunni militia opposed to al Qaeda on Saturday. Two of the man’s bodyguards were also killed.
Tobchi was hit the hardest by the car bombs, reports Reuters. Shopkeeper Said Mohammed Murad, who witnessed the blast, recalled:
“I was standing near my shop with friends when we saw a parked car that aroused our suspicions. We shouted for the driver, but no-one answered. Minutes later, the car blew up, smashing shopfronts and throwing passers-by like toys. All that was in front of me was fire, smoke, dead bodies, and wounded people crying for help.”
Sectarian tensions in Iraq have been inflamed with the civil conflict in Syria, which has attracted Shiite and Sunni fighters from Iraq and other countries in the region. Along with Saturday’s Baghdad car bombing deaths, more than 535 people have been killed in militant attacks this month.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]