Sunday: 70 Iraqis Killed, 106 Wounded

Updated at 11:14 a.m. EDT, Nov. 1, 2010

Dozens of Catholic worshippers were killed in an operation that liberated dozens of hostages at a Baghdad church. At least 70 Iraqis were killed and 106 more were wounded not only at the church but also in an uptick of violence that greeted the new week. The casualty toll is expected to rise.

In Baghdad, at least 58 people were killed and 75 more were wounded in complex attack on a Karrada-neighborhood Syrian Catholic church and the stock exchange. While details are still unclear, the gunmen first attacked the stock exchange, but authorities have suggested that was just a diversion to get inside the church. Some witnesses at the church say that the gunmen pretended to be worshippers and didn’t reveal themselves until a car bomb exploded outside. Most of the dead were civilians, including three priests, but 17 security personnel and five gunmen were among them as well. U.S. forces said that only air support was provided during the operation, but American troops were reported on scene as well. It is also unclear whether most of the deaths occurred before Iraqi security stormed the building.

The Islamic State of Iraq took responsibility for the attack. In a bizarre twist, however, the gunmen demanded the release of detainees in Egypt as well as Iraq. Two of the Egyptian detainees released would have been a pair of Coptic Christian women believed to have converted to Islam. The two women deny they have converted and are living in seclusion. One witness to the attack said the gunmen did not have Iraqi accents, bostering the claim that they wanted Egyptian as well as Iraqi detainees released.

Elsewhere in the capital, six people were killed and four more wounded when a bomb at a garage exploded in a northern neighborhood. A blast wounded three people, including a civilian, in Saidiya. Separate bombs in Doura wounded five more Iraqis.

In Mosul, a suicide bomber killed one policeman and wounded seven more in Bursa. Mortars wounded four soldiers when they landed at an army base. Three civilians were injured in a Tahrir roadside bomb blast, while in Tel al-Rummam another bombing left three policemen with injuries.

A sticky bomb planted on an Awakening Council member’s car in Taji killed him and wounded three bystanders.

A sticky bomb in Baquba wounded the husband of a Diyala council member.

A roadside bomb targeting a former State of Law party M.P. in Khalis killed his office manager and wounded a guard.

Two teenage brothers were found shot to death in Wujaihiyah.

A suspected al-Qaeda emir was captured in Qara Tappa.

Twenty-three suspects were arrested in Karbala.

A suicide bomber wounded 32 people in Istanbul in what Turkish officials believe was a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) attack.

Read more by Margaret Griffis

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.