Iraq: spate of attacks leave 23 dead as Two Imams Bridge re-opens

Headlines from Iraq Nov. 12 were dominated by the re-opening of Baghdad’s Two Imams Bridge, which links the Sunni district of Adhamiya and the Shi’ite area of Kadhimiya, and had been closed due to sectarian violence since 2005. (E.g. LAT) But on that same day, at least 23 people were killed in a string of attacks across Iraq. In the deadliest single attack of the day, a car bomb exploded, followed by another blast at a bus station in a working class district of Baghdad, killing 12 and wounding 60.

In Mosul, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on his American comrades, killing two and wounding another six. Iraq’s Interior Ministry said the shooting happened after an altercation with US troops during a patrol through the city, but a US military commander said it was unprovoked and took place inside an Iraqi army base. It was the second such incident this year in the volatile northern city.

Elsewhere in Mosul—which the US military call one of the last bastions of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and which has seen a recent spate of attacks on Christians—two Christian sisters were slain by gunmen who broke into their home and wired it with bombs. (AFP, Nov. 12)

On Aug. 31, 2005, up to 1,000 were killed in a stampede on Baghdad’s Two Imams (al-Aaimmah) bridge sparked by rumors that a suicide bomber had infiltrated a crowd of one million pilgrims had marching toward the Kadhimiya mosque, the shrine of Imam Musa al-Kazim, one of the twelve Shiite Imams. The incident sparked a long series of sectarian attacks and counter-attacks.

See our last post on sectarian cleansing in Iraq.