42 killed in Iraq attacks as Qaeda plants flag

Aug 3rd, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

KUT, Iraq (AFP) — Twin car bombs in south Iraq killed 33 people on Tuesday while Al-Qaeda fighters hoisted their flag having shot dead five police in Baghdad, a day after the US vowed no delays to a major troop pullout.

The attack in Kut, 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of the Iraqi capital, the first car bombing in the city since the US invasion in 2003, occurred amid concerns that the conflict-wracked nation’s security may be unravelling.

Overall, 42 people were killed in violence on Tuesday, officials said, just days after government ministries said more people died in unrest in July than in any month since May 2008.

The sudden spike in violence comes amid deadlock over the formation of a new government almost five months after parliamentary elections in which no clear winner emerged.

“Two cars, parked 10 metres (yards) from each other, exploded at the same time at Al-Amel crossing,” police Lieutenant Ismail Hussein told AFP, referring to the commercial centre of Kut, which is the capital of Wasit province.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said the streets were covered in blood while several shops were badly damaged and multiple cars destroyed.

“I saw with my own eyes, women and children lying dead and wounded on the ground,” said Nasir Salman, 47, whose nearby tyre shop was badly damaged.

“The two cars exploded one after the other in the middle of a crowd,” around 6:00 pm (1500 GMT), he added.

Haidar Habib, a 40-year-old currency trader, said he was “thrown to the floor of my shop from the force of the explosions. I saw women and children on the streets losing their blood.”

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