[QODLink]
Middle East
Deadly triple blasts rock Iraq's south
At least 19 people are killed and 65 others injured after three bombs exploded in city of Basra.
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2011 21:30
Army and police deployed in force and cordoned the market where two of the bombs exploded [AFP]

At least 19 people have been killed and 65 others injured after three bombs exploded in Iraq’s southern port  city of Basra, security and medical officials say.

A roadside bomb and a motorcycle bomb exploded simultaneously at about 6:40pm local time (15:40 GMT) on Thursday in a market in central Basra, an interior ministry official said.

Following a common pattern in Iraq, a third roadside bomb went off as people gathered at the scene, according to the official.

Army and police deployed in force following the blasts, cordoning off the market, an AFP news agency correspondent said.

"The death toll is 19 killed and 65 wounded," Riyadh Abdul-Amir, director-general of the Basra health department, said.

The latest attack was the deadliest day in Iraq since October 27, when two roadside bombs in Baghdad's Urr neighbourhood killed at least 32 people and wounded 71 others.

On November 2, three motorbike bombings in Basra killed at least nine people and wounded at least 37.

Most of the victims of Thursday's bombings were police and soldiers, including several senior leaders, Ali al-Maliki, head of the Basra provincial council security committee, said.

"The fingerprints of Baathists and al Qaeda are clear in these explosions," he said.

Iraqi government officials frequently accuse former members of Saddam Hussein's banned Baath Party of trying to destabilise Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's fragile coalition government.

The government recently rounded up more than 600 former military leaders and Baathists, accusing them of plotting to seize power when US troops leave.

Violence has declined nationwide since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common.

A total of 258 people were killed in October, according to official figures.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Featured
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list