Updated at 2:49 p.m. EDT, July 8, 2010
Shi’ite pilgrims streaming in to Baghdad for Imam Kadhim observances were met by a number of bombs across the city. One blast targeting them killed or wounded over 120 people in a Sunni neighborhood. Earlier in the day, however, most of the attacks were curiously focused on areas just west of the capital. At least 84 Iraqis were killed and 362 more were wounded in these and other attacks. Meanwhile, a Rasmussen poll found that less than a third of Americans would call the war in Iraq a success, and only 55 percent think that Iraqis are better off now than under Saddam.
In Baghdad, a female suicide bomber struck near the Jisr al-Aiema (Bridge of Imams) in the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiya, killing 35 people, including pilgrims, and wounding at least 129 others. The bomber was waiting in a line of people being cleared to enter Kadhimiya. In Harthiya, a pair of blasts left 14 dead and 100 wounded. A police major was killed when a bomb attached to his car was detonated. A blast wounded three soldiers in Nafaq al-Shurta. A suicide bomber in Ghazaliya wounded three soldiers and a policeman. In a northern district, another attack on pilgrims left two of them dead along with two policemen. Five pilgrims were killed and 36 more were wounded in New Baghdad. On Haifa Street, a bomb left nine wounded. Six were wounded in a blast in Bayaa, while two more were wounded in Mamoun. Six people were killed and at least 44 more were wounded during a blast in Bab al-Muadham. A bomb was defused in Atallya.
A vehicle ban is in place for Kadhimiya, where the Imam Kadhim Shrine is located. Throughout Baghdad, police have banned motorcycles and bikes. About 200,000 security personnel were assigned to protect pilgrims traveling to the Imam Kadhim shrine for tomorrow’s observances.
A series of attacks in Abu Ghraib left five dead and six wounded. Gunmen targeted the homes of policemen, Awakening Council members, and an ambulance driver. The men were not at home during the dawn attacks, but their families and neighbors were among the casualties. Separately, a bomb planted on a policeman’s car wounded a passenger when it exploded. Also, a suicide bomber struck at a checkpoint killing one person and wounding six more. Violence in the regions just west of the capital has steadily increased this year. Some of the attacks were against security personnel, but police and soldiers have been blamed for attacks against tribesmen as well.
Five soldiers were killed and four more were wounded in the al-Khums Biyout region near Fallujah, when a suicide bomber attacked their checkpoint. Police sealed off several neighborhoods when a gunman killed a policeman.
A blast near a café in Qayara killed one policeman and wounded seven other people.
A roadside bomb in Saidiya blasted a vehicle, killing the driver and wounding two passengers.
In Mosul, gunmen killed a civilian.
A T.V. reporter and his family survived an attack on his home in Ramadi, but the building suffered considerable damage. The reporter said he has recently received death threats from al-Qaeda.
Fourteen suspects were arrested in the Kirkuk area.
The Justice Ministry released 340 inmates after courts determined there was no enough evidence to prosecute the men.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) staged another attack in Turkey, where they killed one soldier and wounded two others. Turkey’s Interior Minister Besir Atalay reiterated that Turkey wants Iraq to destroy rebel camps within its borders and called their continued existence unacceptable.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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