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Rapid-fire attacks kill 50 across Iraq

[ 2012-02-24 16:26]     字号 [] [] []  
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A rapid series of attacks spread over a wide swath of Iraqi territory killed at least 50 people on Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be a vicious strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country.

The apparently coordinated bombings and shootings unfolded over four hours in the capital Baghdad - where most of the deaths occurred - and 11 other cities. They struck government offices, restaurants and one in the town of Musayyib hit close to a primary school. At least 225 people were wounded.

"What is happening today are not simple security violations - it is a huge security failure and disaster," said Ahmed al-Tamimi, who was working at an Education Ministry office a block away from a restaurant that was bombed in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah in northern Baghdad. He described a hellish scene of human flesh and pools of blood at the restaurant.

"We want to know: What were the thousands of policemen and soldiers in Baghdad doing today while the terrorists were roaming the city and spreading violence?" al-Tamimi said.

It was the latest of a series of large-scale attacks that insurgents have launched every few weeks since the last US troops left Iraq in mid-December at the end of a nearly nine-year war.

The ongoing nature of the violence and the fact that insurgents are able to operate over a wide swath of Iraq to carry out a variety of attacks shows the country is still deeply unstable, despite government assurances it could protect itself when US troops left in December.

The violence points to a dangerous gap in the abilities of the Iraqi security forces that had particularly worried the departing US military: their ability to gather intelligence on insurgent groups and stop them before they launch such deadly attacks. Gathering information on militants and their networks was a key area in which the US military helped their Iraqi counterparts.

Shortly after the withdrawal, a major political crisis with sectarian undertones erupted as well when Shiite-dominated authorities sought to arrest Sunni Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi on allegations he commandeered death squads targeting security forces and government officials


1. How many peopled died?

2. In how many other cities did deaths occur?

3. How many people were wounded?


1. 50

2. 11

3. 250

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Rapid-fire attacks kill 50 across Iraq

About the broadcaster:

Rapid-fire attacks kill 50 across Iraq

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.