Six more people died in attacks over the last 24 hours in Baghdad, the latest in a wave of deadly strikes as U.S. combat forces prepare to withdraw from cities and towns.
Those strikes followed a major blast that killed 64 people and injured about 150 others at a Baghdad market early Wednesday and a deadly blast in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Saturday that killed 80 people. The Interior Ministry said seven deadly attacks hit Baghdad from Wednesday night into Thursday afternoon. • At least three people were killed and six wounded on Thursday when a parked car bomb detonated in a bus station in a predominantly Shiite area of southwestern Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said. • A roadside bomb exploded near a bus station and an outdoor market in a neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad on Thursday, killing two people and wounding 28 others. • Late Wednesday, a roadside bomb exploded during an Iraqi police foot patrol in Baladiya square in eastern Baghdad, killing an Iraqi police officer and wounding three others. In attacks on Thursday in which there were no reports of deaths: • Three mortar rounds smashed into buildings on a street in central Baghdad, wounding two people.
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• A roadside bomb exploded during an Iraqi police patrol in Hurriya square in central Baghdad, wounding two police officers. • A roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy in Sadr city in eastern Baghdad and another detonated near a U.S. military convoy in eastern Baghdad near Shaab stadium. No details about injuries or casualties in those two attacks were available. The spike in violence comes as the United States works toward withdrawing combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns by June 30, a move spelled out in the U.S. bilateral agreement with Iraq. Security responsibilities will be left to Iraqis and American forces are to remain only as trainers and advisers. The market bombing in Baghdad’s Sadr City on Wednesday was widely condemned. U.S. Ambassador Christopher R. Hill and Gen. Ray Odierno issued a statement on Thursday deploring “the senseless deaths and injuries of innocent Iraqi citizens” and extending “condolences to their families, friends, and community. “We join the Iraqi people in denouncing all acts of terrorism and remain steadfast in our support of the people and government of Iraq in their pursuit of peace.”