Iraq blasts kill 50, injure hundreds

BAGHDAD, Aug. 25 (UPI) — Multiple bombings throughout Iraq Wednesday killed at least 50 people and injured hundreds more, Iraqi officials said.

The attacks took place in 13 cities in northern, western and southern Iraq. The only area of the country not affected was the Kurdish region’s three provinces in the north, CNN reported.

The blasts occurred a week before Tuesday’s deadline for drawing down U.S. troops and Iraqi forces assuming responsibility for the country’s security.

Wael Abdel-Latif, a judge and former lawmaker, said insurgents are using the attacks to send a message “to the Iraqi people and the politicians is that we exist, and we choose the time and place,” The New York Times reported.

“They are carrying out such attacks when the Americans are still here, so just imagine what they can do after the Americans leave,” he said.

Iraq’s Interior Ministry said a car bomb killed 15 people and wounded more than 50 in a blast that leveled a police station and nearby houses in Baghdad’s northern Qahira district, the Times said.

In Baghdad’s Shalchiya neighborhood, police said at least two people died when a bomb exploded.

In Kut, Iraqi officials said a suicide car bomb killed at least 20 people and wounded 90, most of them police personnel, in an attack on a police station near the provincial headquarters in the southern Iraqi city, CNN reported.

In Diyala province, Iraqi officials reported six explosions that targeted police and Iraqi provincial officials. The largest was a suicide car bomb targeting the provincial police headquarters in Baquba, in which three civilians were killed and 17 wounded, including 12 police officers.

The other five explosions were roadside bombs that targeted police, wounding 10, officials said.

Officials in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, said a bomb detonated, killing one person and wounding eight.

A bomb detonated near a police station in Basra, injuring four policemen and damaging nearby shops, the Times said.

In Ramadi, officials said that a car bomb killed three people. In a separate attack, two would-be bombers apparently killed themselves when their vehicle blew up accidentally, officials said – UPI