Officials: Blast hits northern Iraqi city; 19 dead

A bomb struck a crowded coffee shop late Friday in the ethnically disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing at least 19 and wounding more than two dozen in the latest in a string of bloody attacks pounding Iraq since the start of the holy month of Ramadan this week.
Associated Press
Jul 12, 2013


Iraq is being rocked by its deadliest and most sustained wave of bloodshed in half a decade. More than 2,600 people have been killed since the start of April, raising fears the country is once again edging toward the brink of civil war a decade after Saddam Hussein was toppled in the U.S.-led invasion.

The blast exploded in the Classico Cafe in southern Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, as patrons were enjoying tea and water pipes hours after the sunset meal that breaks the daylong Ramadan fast, police said.

Kirkuk is home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen — all with competing claims to the oil-rich area. The Kurds want to incorporate it into their self-ruled region in Iraq's north, but Arabs and Turkomen are opposed. Sunni Arab extremists, aiming to exacerbate ethnic tensions in the region, are believed to be behind frequent attacks in the area that pose a challenge to Iraq's Shiite-dominated government.

In addition to those killed, the attack wounded 26, a police officer and a hospital official said. It brought to 24 the number of people killed in attacks in the country on Friday.

Hours before the Kirkuk attack, Sunni cleric Salah al-Nuaimi urged calm among Iraqis during a joint Sunni-Shiite sermon Friday in Baghdad aimed at easing sectarian tensions.

"Enough is enough," al-Nuaimi told worshippers at a Baghdad mosque. "We all love Iraq, we are all Iraqis and we want to be united. We want to stop the bloodletting, and develop and build Iraq."

Earlier in the day, a suicide car bomber struck a police patrol outside the northern city of Mosul, killing four policemen, a police officer and a medical official said. Mosul is 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of the Iraqi capital.

And outside the northern city of Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, drive-by shooters armed with pistols fitted with silencers killed a senior police officer. The attack took place in the town Shirqat, a police officer said.

Officials also provided details of new attacks on Iraqi Shiites late the previous night.

In one of the attacks on Shiites, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden motorcycle into a funeral tent for a Shiite family in the town of in Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, officials said. The late Thursday evening explosion killed 13 people and wounded 24, the officials said.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

In the northern town of Dujail, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Baghdad, a parked car bomb went off outside a Shiite mosque late on Thursday. As people gathered around the blast site, another bomb went off. That twin bombing killed at least 11 people and wounded 25, mayor Nayif al-Khazrachi said. Two medical officials, who weren't authorized to speak publicly, confirmed the casualty figures.

The two attacks raised the overall death toll Thursday from a series of attacks, which included assaults on police stations in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah west of Baghdad, to 40.

On Wednesday, gunmen launched an assault on an army checkpoint and special oil industry police assigned to protect a nearby pipeline in the western Iraqi desert, killing at least 14 troops there.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the latest attacks but al-Qaida's Iraq branch, which has been gaining strength in recent months, frequently targets Shiites, security forces and civil servants in an effort to undermine the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.



The Big Dog's back

Bush's legacy. Utter chaos.

Darwin's choice

Obama's legacy: destroyed the U.S.

JudgeMeNot's picture

United States led an invasion of Iraq, under Bush, supported by Democrats like Senators John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. In 1998 President Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, making Hussein’s removal from power a matter of US policy.

So it just wasn't Bush behind the invasion lil dog, it also included some of your favorite liberals too.

Watch this lil dog.

Democrats before Iraq War started....


Prior to the "invasion," U.S. troops were ALREADY “in country” in the northern Iraqi Kurdish territories and our aircraft were patrolling the NO-Fly Zone in the south.

BTW: Samantha Power, Pres. Obama's nominee for U.S. Ambassador is an advocate for U.S. military interventionism.

"What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" - Samantha Power



Nice soundtrack to the video: Traffic.

Saw them in concert in Miami Beach, FL in the early 70s.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

This is a legacy of a people who have no experience with democracy being given control of themselves. Even more developed and "allied" countries such as Egypt can't handle it. For centuries upon centuries the culture had been developed around central monarchical/theocratic rule. While there are certainly smart and even secular people in these countries, not enough cultural development has happened to reach out to the countryside or warlord-run areas to get them to understand just what they have.


Re: "This is a legacy of a people who have no experience with democracy,"


Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and others are "made-up" countries left over from the break-up of the Ottoman Empire after WW1 and it's subsequent protectorate status by France and England.

What you're basically looking at are hostilities between Shia and Sunni - same as in Egypt.

And not to make light of it, but how are these killings much different than a wkend in Chicago and other major U.S. cities where the death tolls are often larger?

The Big Dog's back

Or Texas on a Saturday night.


I'm sure Obama will send them some aid, money and planes.


let the rag heads kill themselves, I do not care..


Why the hell do I care If they are blowing themselves up. How is this news relevant to Sandusky. LET THE HADJIS HIT THE FLOOR!


Nothing new form that side of the world. They have been bombing and blowing each other up since gun powder was invented. Nothing will change until someone over their goes bonkers and drops a nuke and starts a holy war.


Re: "They have been bombing and blowing each other up,"

I read an estimate that 160 million people died from war in the 20th Century. The bloodiest century in recorded history.

Wanna bet that we can't beat that figure in the 21st?

Admit it, most major advances in technology have been figuring out ways to more efficiently kill one another.

If we didn't enjoy it, we wouldn't do it.

Kottage Kat

World news is of intrest to some whose world is not sandusky.


Re: "World news,"

The "concept" of what is and what is not news basically expanded exponentially with the invention of the telegraph.

Prior, "news" for most was contained to a small geographical area.

The problem becomes partly one of sentiment. How much should one "care" about the troubles of people one will more than likely never meet?

Became aware of above through Neil Postman's book: "Amusing Ourselves to Death."

Have a good day and hope you're doin' well.