Iraq: more sectarian massacres

Two suicide bombers killed 76 people in a crowded market in Baghdad’s Shi’ite Shaab district March 29, as three suicide car bombs exploded within minutes of each other in Khalis, a Shi’ite town north of the capital, killing 53 and wounding 103. (Reuters, March 30) A bomb planted under a parked car also tore through a market in Baghdad’s mixed Al-Bayaa district, killing three and wounding 26. And a car bomb exploded near a Shi’ite mosque in Mahmoudiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing six persons and wounding 19. (AP, March 29)

In Fallujah, two suicide car bombs, including a truck carrying Chlorine toxic gas, struck the main US base in Fallujah, killing eight Iraqi policemen and wounding more than 20 others, local police said. (Xinhua, March 29)

The bombings took place as Ryan C. Crocker was sworn in as US ambassador to Iraq in the Green Zone, taking over from Zalmay Khalilzad. (AP, March 29)

The Reuters report on the Baghdad and Khalis attacks reads:

The upsurge in sectarian violence threatens all-out civil war and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite, called for restraint and urged Iraqis to work with security forces to prevent the violence spiralling out of control.

When do we decide that this is a civil war already? Of course we have been asking that for a very long time…

See our last posts on Iraq and the sectarian cleansing.