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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Nearly 50 people killed in Iraq bomb blasts

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:5PM GMT

Nearly 50 people have been killed in the past 24 hours by a series of car bomb explosions in the Iraqi capital and the southern city of Hillah.

Several explosive-laden parked cars detonated across Baghdad on Tuesday, targeting the city's Shia districts.

One of the bombs ripped through a bus station in the capital's western neighborhood of Baiyaa and another went off in a commercial area in the affluent district of Karrada.

But the deadliest attacks occurred in and around the mainly Shia city of Hillah, where 35 people were killed in seven car bomb explosions inside the city itself and the nearby towns of Haswa, Mahaweel and Mussayab.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday explosions, which come less than a day after four car bomb blasts left two dozen people dead in the city.

Meanwhile, Iraqi troops backed by local Sunni tribesmen are fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in the country's western regions, including the Anbar Province.

Violence erupted in Anbar late last December when security forces cleared a protest camp which the government said was being used by militants for launching terrorist attacks.

The removal of the camp sparked protests from Iraqi lawmakers who urged the army to leave the city.

But the withdrawal of government forces from the city paved the way for al-Qaeda-linked militants from so-called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to move in and seize the provincial capital, Ramadi, and the neighboring city of Fallujah.

More than 470 Iraqis have lost their lives so far in February.

According to official figures, some 1,013 people were killed in January, making it the deadliest month in Iraq since April 2008.


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