60 killed in string of Iraq bombings
* Two British journalists and soldiers killed
* Zarqawi aide captured, says Iraqi army
BAGHDAD: In the most violent day in weeks, some 60 people were killed in a bloody explosion of violence across Iraq on Monday, including a suicide car bomb attack that killed two British journalists.
The attacks underlined the parlous security situation in Iraq as agreement on the key defense and interior ministries remained elusive despite the formation of a new government on May 20, five months after national elections.
Despite repeated assertions that a final decision on the security ministers was imminent, the positions remain unfilled because of bickering among the major political parties.
In the deadliest attack on Monday, 14 people were killed and 17 wounded when a bomb tore through a bus carrying Iraqis work from Khalis to Camp Ashraf. “The workers were ordinary Iraqi citizens who had ordinary jobs since a long time ago in the city of Ashraf,” said Shahriar Kia.
Another 12 people were killed, including a child, and 24 wounded when a massive car bomb exploded in Baghdad’s predominantly Sunni Arab neighbourhood of Adhamiyah.
Only a minute later, a second car bomb exploded in the same district, killing five and wounding seven. Just across the Tigris, a bus in the Shia neighbourhood of Kadhimiya was blown up, killing seven people and wounding nine.
The British journalists killed, cameraman Paul Douglas (48) and soundman James Brolan (42) worked for the New York-based CBS News and were embedded with the US 4th Infantry division. They were outside their armored Humvee in the Karrada neighbourhood in Baghdad when their convoy was rammed by a suicide car bomb, the US military said.
A US army captain and an Iraqi interpreter working for the military were also killed in the attack, which seriously injured CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier, a dual US-British national, and six other US soldiers.
At least another 18 people were killed in other violence in Baghdad and around the country. The breakdown in security was the main topic of Monday’s parliamentary session as MPs took a break from debating internal rules to discuss the deteriorating situation in Diyala and the southern Basra province.
Britain announced that two of its soldiers were killed and two injured in a roadside bomb attack Sunday in the main southern city of Basra, where British forces are based.
Iraqi security forces have captured a senior aide of Al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Baghdad, a Defence Ministry spokesman said later. Defence Ministry spokesman Kassim al-Mosawi said that Kassim al-Ani, one of the most wanted people in Iraq, was arrested on Sunday evening. “The Iraqi army forces arrested three terrorists who belong to Al Qaeda, one of them is a senior aide of Zarqawi in Baghdad,” Mosawi said. “He was one of the most wanted ones,” he said, adding that Ani was suspected of being behind many attacks in the Iraqi capital. agencies