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Terror week: Massacred for no fault of their own

October 01, 2013 15:43 IST

Terror week: Massacred for no fault of their own

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The past week has seen bombings and violent attacks that have killed innocent civilians, including women and children. Rediff.com recaps some of these deadly strikes.

Car bombings in Iraq

A new wave of car bombs ripped through Baghdad on Monday killing at least 55 and left dozens wounded. The bomb struck mainly Shiite neighbourhoods in the latest unrelenting violence in Iraq in recent months.

The bombings were blamed on Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents by the country’s interior ministry, who said the attackers were exploiting the political infighting and security shortcomings.

At least seven people were killed and 16 injured in the deadliest attack of the day when a car bomb went ripped tore through a vegetable market and its parking lot in SadrCity district. 

A total of 10 car bombs went off in quick succession in the Shiite neighbourhoods of New Baghdad, Habibiya, Sabaa al-Bour, Kazimiyah, Shaab, Ur, Shula as well as the Sunni neighbourhoods of Jamiaa and Ghazaliyah.

Other blasts struck outdoor markets and parking lots

Though no group claimed responsibility for the attack, the bombings bore the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda’s local branch in Iraq, known as the Islamic State of Iraq. 

Crowded places like markets and mosques are often targeted by Iraqi militants to inflict maximum casualties.

On September 21 suicide bombings struck a cluster of funeral tents packed with mourning families in SadrCity. At least 104 people were killed in the attack.

The current violence is reminiscent of the one that almost led to civil war in Iraq in 2006-2007.

More than 4,500 people have been killed since April, AP reported.

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Image: A policeman examines the remains of a vehicle that was used as a car bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City
Photographs: Qahtan al-Sudani/Reuters

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Peshawar car blast and suicide attack on church

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A car bomb blast in Peshawar last week killed at least 40 people and injured 80 in Pakistan's restive northwest. The blast ripped through the historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar near Khan Raziq police station in the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Bomb disposal squad personnel said 225 kg of explosives were used in the blast. The dead included six women and four children.

The week before, two Taliban suicide bombers struck a historic church in Peshawar killing at least 80 people, including women and children, in the deadliest attack on the minority Christian community in Pakistan's history.

Over 130 were injured in the attack on All Saints Church at Kohati Gate area of Peshawar. The bombers set off their explosive vests as people were emerging from Sunday mass.

The dead included four children aged between three and eight years and a Muslim policeman.

Anis said some 600 to 700 people were inside the church at the time of the attack. Nearby buildings were damaged by the powerful blasts.

The Jandullah group, a faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out to avenge US drone strikes.

Ahmed Marwat, a spokesman for the group, told Newsweek: "Until and unless drone strikes are stopped, we will continue to strike wherever we find an opportunity against non-Muslims."

Jandullah earlier claimed responsibility for killing 10 foreign climbers in Gilgit-Baltistan and for an attack on an Inter-Services Intelligence compound in Sukkur.

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Image: A Christian woman mourns the death of her son at the site of a suicide blast at a church in Peshawar
Photographs: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

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Boko Haram militants storm college in Nigeria

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The Boko Haram group has vowed to install an Islamic government in Nigeria and killed hundreds in its four-year insurgency.

At least 50 students were killed in their sleep by suspected Boko Haram militants as they opened fire in a college dormitory in northeast Nigeria, in the latest violence blamed on the dreaded Islamist group.

Gunmen attacked the College of Agriculture in Gujba, Yobe state, in the early hours and shot students when they were asleep.

Boko Haram regards schools as a symbol of Western culture. The group's name translates as "Western education is forbidden".

College provost Molima Idi Mato confirmed the casualty figure at 50, but added the death toll could be higher as more bodies were being recovered.

More than a thousand students have fled the institution, which was also set on fire by the attackers, said state military spokesman Lazarus Eli.

Schools and universities in Yobe state have been the target of attacks

At least 143 people had been killed in September in the northeastern state of Borno by suspected Boko Haram militants who came disguised as soldiers, set up checkpoints and fired on motorists and bystanders.

In June, Boko Haram carried out two attacks on schools in the region. A month later, Islamists threw explosives and sprayed gunfire into dormitories in the town of Mamudo in Yobe, killing 41 students.

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Image: Newspapers are displayed at a vendor's stand along a road in Obalende district in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos
Photographs: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

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Nairobi shopping mall terror attack

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The four-day siege by Al-Shabab terrorists on a Nairobi shopping mall claimed 67 lives including that of three Indians.

Five attackers were shot dead by the East African country's troops while 11 suspects were taken into custody.

The Westgate mall building collapsed during the incident.

Four Indians, including two women and a girl, were among nearly 200 people injured in the attack on the part Israeli-owned Westgate centre. At least 11 Kenyan troops were also wounded in the clashes.

Al Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab militants laid siege on the mall throwing grenades as they asked all Muslims to flee the scene.

The group's members in Somalia later claimed responsibility for the attack condemning Kenya for its military operations in Somalia.

The attack is the deadliest terrorist assault in Kenya since Al Qaeda bombed the US Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, leaving over 200 people dead. 


Image: Women carrying children run for safety
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

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