Alcohol shops targeted in Baghdad

At least seven alcohol shops have been bombed or shot at in the Iraqi capital in the past two days, shop owners and witnesses have said.

    Attacks againsts alcohol vendors are increasing by the day

    The attacks are the latest in a wave of suspected religion-backed violence against alcohol sellers.

    There were no reported injuries in the latest string of attacks, but many of the shops were destroyed beyond recognition, shop owners said.

    They said at least four shops were bombed overnight between Wednesday and Thursday in an eastern area of the Baghdad, while three others were attacked early Wednesday morning in another eastern district of the city.

    "They (the attackers) called me and ordered me to shut down my shop. So I closed my shop and went home and people called me to tell me my shop was attacked"

    Manhal Boulos,
    alcohol shopkeeper

    "They (the attackers) called me and ordered me to shut down my shop. So I closed my shop and went home and people called me to tell me my shop was attacked," Manhal Boulos, a Christian alcohol shopkeeper, said outside his burnt out store.

    Workers in the fire-blackened shop swept up broken bottles of whisky and other liquor on Thursday after it was fire bombed.

    Increased bombings and threats

    Alcohol merchants in Iraq have been killed and threatened by conservative groups, who strongly oppose alcohol sales, since US-led forces invaded the country more than a year ago.

    In many cases, groups have pushed flyers under liquor store doors threatening attacks if shop owners don't close down.

    Many of the early attacks were carried out in the southern city of Basra, but alcohol stores elsewhere have also been targeted with increasing frequency.

    Five shops selling alcohol were bombed in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad on Saturday, while stores have also been hit in Falluja, west of the capital.

    Unlike some Muslim countries, alcohol is not illegal in Iraq although it is sold only by non-Muslims.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.