Fresh Iraq blasts kill at least 31 in Baghdad
A wave of car bombs struck Shiite-majority areas of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 31 people, Agence France-Presse reported security and medical officials as saying.
The six car bombs, which hit five different areas of the Iraqi capital, also wounded more than 90 people.
The deadliest single attack struck Sinaa Street in Baghdad’s central Karrada district, killing at least 10.
Prior to the new blasts in Baghdad, Reuters reported that car bombs killed 12 people, including five soldiers, in the capital and the city of Ramadi to the west, citing police and medical sources as saying.
The attacks resembled operations carried out by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants.
Baghdad is hit by near-daily bombings and shootings, some of which have been claimed by ISIS jihadist group, which has overrun large third of the country since June.
ISIS and other Sunni extremist groups consider Shiites to be heretics and frequently target them in attacks.
Suicide bomber in northern Iraq
Late Friday, a suicide truck bomber targeting a senior police officer’s convoy in northern Iraq killed eight people, including the ranking official, authorities said Saturday.
The attack happened when the suicide attacker drove his bomb-laden truck into the convoy of police Lt. Gen. Faisal Malik, who was inspecting troops in the town of Beiji, the Associated Press reported the police as saying.
The blast killed Faisal and seven police officers, while wounding 15 people, hospital officials and police officers said.
No one immediately claimed the attack, however ISIS have used bombings to fend off Iraqi security forces trying to retake Ramadi and other strongholds.
Beiji, home to Iraq’s largest oil refinery, is 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad.
Meanwhile, Western and Iraqi officials say U.S.-led air strikes are not enough to defeat the al-Qaeda offshoot that holds parts of Iraq and Syria and is fighting to expand what it calls a caliphate.
Iraq must improve the performance of its army and security forces in order to eliminate the threat from the group, which wants to redraw the map of the Middle East, the officials say.
President Barack Obama has approved sending up to 1,500 more troops to Iraq, roughly doubling the number of U.S. forces on the ground.