Bombs hit Iraq funeral and football stadium, killing 22

RAMADI, Iraq Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:26pm EDT

Relatives carry the coffin of a victim killed in one of two bomb attacks in Baquba, about 50 km (31miles) northeast of Baghdad, during a funeral, June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Relatives carry the coffin of a victim killed in one of two bomb attacks in Baquba, about 50 km (31miles) northeast of Baghdad, during a funeral, June 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - A series of bombs near a bakery, at a funeral, inside a senior police officer's car and at a football stadium killed at least 22 people across Iraq on Friday, police and medics said.

The violence is part of a trend of increasing militant attacks since the start of the year, which claimed more than 1,000 lives in May alone, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006-07.

Twin blasts at a neighborhood football stadium killed five players in Madaen, about 30 km (20 miles) southeast of Baghdad, and a roadside bomb near a bakery shop in the west of the capital left three people dead, police said.

A senior Iraqi police officer was killed when a bomb exploded inside his car and a second blast came five minutes later as police and bystanders gathered near the wreckage of the vehicle in the city of Ramadi in Anbar province.

Ten people died in those blasts.

"We were on duty at a nearby checkpoint when the car exploded. We ran to work out what was going on, but before we reached the car it exploded again," said a policeman at the scene. "Many civilians and policemen were killed."

A suicide bomber attacked a funeral in the mainly Shi'ite city of Dujail, killing at least four others, police and medics said.

Concerns that Iraq may lapse back into full-scale sectarian conflict have mounted in recent months amid tensions fuelled by the civil war in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed by Shi'ite Iran.

Sunni insurgents often target members of the security forces, heads of tribes and officials they see as supporters of the Shi'ite-led government, as well as Shi'ites.

Minority Sunnis have felt sidelined since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein and empowered majority Shi'ites.

At the height of Iraq's insurgency in 2006-07, Anbar was in the grip of al Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, which has been regaining strength in recent months.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks. Suicide bombings are a trademark of al Qaeda's Iraqi wing.

The attacks followed bomb blasts in coffee shops and other targets that killed at least 22 on Thursday.

(Reporting by Kamal Naama in Ramadi and Ghazwan Hassan in Tikrit; Writing by Suadad al-Salhy; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (12)

Jun 28, 2013 5:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
divinargant wrote:
Cheney/Bush in 2016. Get the word out!

Jun 28, 2013 6:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
saavedra wrote:
Every American should have a patriot commitment to reading a 1998 letter to President Clinton urging him to attack Iraq and take out Saddam Hussein.
It was drafted and signed by a right-wing think tank called the “Project for a New American Century. The signatories were mainly Neo-cons who later got into the Pentagon and White House and used the U.S. Military and its Treasure like a kid using a play toy. Recognize any names?
Elliott Abrams Richard L. Armitage William J. Bennett

Jeffrey Bergner John Bolton Paula Dobriansky

Francis Fukuyama Robert Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad

William Kristol Richard Perle Peter W. Rodman

Donald Rumsfeld William Schneider, Jr. Vin Weber

Paul Wolfowitz R. James Woolsey Robert B. Zoellick

Jun 28, 2013 6:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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