The major incident on Monday 01 July saw a suicide bomber blow himself up at a mourning ceremony inside a Shi’ite mosque late in the day, killing at least 22 people. The explosion brought down the ceiling of the mosque in the town of Muqdadiya, 80 km northeast of the capital Baghdad, crushing Shi’ites who were marking the death of a police officer killed in a recent roadside bombing. Police said the death toll could continue to rise because significant numbers of people remained trapped beneath the rubble.
The reporting period closed on a particularly sour note as at least 45 people were killed in bomb attacks across Iraq on Tuesday, most of them in busy markets and commercial areas of the capital Baghdad. The deadliest assault took place in the predominantly Shi’ite Shaab neighbourhood of northern Baghdad, where two car bombs killed eight people. There were also explosions in the mainly Shi’ite districts of Abu Dsheer, Kamaliya, Tobchi and Shula.
Sunni Muslims were also targeted in blasts in Amriya and Abu Ghraib, on the city’s western outskirts and a bomb blast near a funeral tent in the city of Baquba killed six people.
Further south, a car bomb in Amara province killed four people and in the city of Basra, three blasts hit a hotel frequented by foreigners working in the oil industry, wounding three guards in an attack that is both rare and unusual, especially given that the predominant threat against foreigners in the south has always been one of kidnap / extortion. It is too early to suggest whether this attack represents a serious shift in targeting or whether we will see more of a similar nature. As groups like the ISI continue to try and weaken the government and their credibility on the international stage the targeting of foreign interests could become more commonplace.