It has been a bloody day in Iraq where dozens of people including many civilians have been killed in attacks nationwide. In the capital Baghdad at least two people died and many more were injured when a car bomb exploded outside the offices of state-run newspaper al-Sabah. Journalists are frequently the target of insurgents opposed to the Shi’ite-lead government.
At least nine civilians were killed in a separate incident when a bomb went off inside a minibus heading for a predominantly Shi’ite neighbourhood. There were also a string of incidents in and around the ethnically-mixed town of Kirkuk in the north – in one attack; a Kurdish guard was killed when a suicide truck bomber blew himself up outside the offices of a Kurdish national party.
Cracking down on militias which are widely seen as the biggest threat to stability in Iraq is one of the toughest challenges facing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. He has announced plans to reshuffle his cabinet just 100 days after it was formed because of what he called frustrations with some ministers’ performance and loyalty.