[QODLink]
Middle East

Dozens dead in continuing Iraq violence

At least 30 people killed in 24 hours as country counts ballots from April 30 general election.

Last updated: 04 May 2014 14:08
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The April 30 general election was the first in Iraq since US troops withdrew in 2011 [Reuters]

Violence in Iraq, including shelling in a rebel-held city and an attack targeting Shia pilgrims, has killed more than 30 people in 24 hours, officials have said.

It came as officials counted ballots from the April 30 general election, the first since US troops withdrew in late 2011, and amid a protracted surge in nationwide unrest that has sparked fears of a return to the large-scale sectarian killing sprees of 2006-2007.

In Fallujah, just a short drive west of Baghdad, shelling in southern areas of the city killed 11 people and wounded four others, Ahmed Shami, a doctor, said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the bombardment, which began on Saturday evening and continued into Sunday.

In a sign of the significant power of anti-government fighters, all of Fallujah and parts of Anbar provincial capital Ramadi, farther west, have been out of government control since early January.

The crisis in Anbar, which shares a long border with conflict-hit Syria, erupted in late December when security forces dismantled Iraq's main Sunni Arab anti-government protest camp just outside Ramadi.

Shia pilgrims attacked

North of Baghdad, a bombing and shooting targeted a bus carrying Shia pilgrims on Saturday evening, killing 11 people and wounded 21 others, police and a doctor said.

The pilgrims were returning from Samarra when a roadside bomb exploded on the outskirts of the town of Balad and gunmen opened fire on the bus.

The worshippers had been participating in commemorations marking the death of Imam Ali al-Hadi, the 10th of 12 imams who are key to the Shia Muslim faith.

Also on Saturday evening, police found the bodies of eight family members shot dead inside their home in a predominantly Sunni area southeast of Baghdad.

It was unclear why the family had been targeted or who killed them.

More than 3,000 people have been killed already this year, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical reports.

322

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.