New Northern-Iraq Catastrophe (With Baghdad Cameo)
Returning to my obsession with the politico-security future of northern Iraq, today is a very, very bad day:
Female bombers struck Kurdish political protesters in Kirkuk and Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad on Monday morning, leaving at least 48 people dead and 249 wounded in one of the bloodiest sequences of attacks in Iraq this year.
The bombing in Kirkuk immediately set the city on edge. Many Kurds believed the city’s ethnic Turkmen were behind the blast and retaliated by attacking Turkmen political parties. At least 24 people were killed and 187 wounded when a female suicide bomber blew herself up amid thousands of Kurdish demonstrators who had gathered near the provincial headquarters building, said Brig. Gen. Burhan Tayyib Taha of the Iraqi police in Kirkuk.
After the blast, the Kurdish demonstrators attacked the headquarters of Turkmen parties near the site of the attack, he said. “They burned Turkmen buildings and they burned many cars,” he said. Security forces instituted a curfew.