On one of the bloodiest days in Baghdad this year, around a hundred people have been killed and around 600 wounded in a series of bomb and mortar attacks in the Iraqi capital. Iraqi forces drew most of the blame for negligence — not ensuring security. The latest bloodshed boosted doubts over their reliability to do the job after US troops pulled out of urban areas in June.
Confidence in the prime minister could also weaken ahead of a parliamentary election. He and others have said they expect more such bombings as the January poll approaches. No group claimed responsibility, but parliament member Abdulkarim al-Samarie said the aim of the bombers was to force a regression to a sectarian political landscape: “Of course there are many other causes for these bombings to occur, especially the continuation of foreign interference in Iraqi affairs.” Around one half of the dead were killed by a massive truck bomb close to the Foreign Ministry in the heavily fortified Green Zone. One analyst said the attacks were “meant to convey a message to Iraqis and the world that insurgents are still there and can block the political process”.