Baghdad, Sep 9 (IANS) A series of bombs and gunfire attacks across Iraq Sunday left some 52
Iraqis dead and more than 200 others injured, in what appeared to be an attempt by insurgent groups to destabilise the country and undermine confidence in the Iraqi government. The deadliest attack in the day occurred near the city of Amara, some 365 km south of Baghdad, when two car bombs exploded at a marketplace in the town near the shrine of Shiite Imam Ali Al Sharqi, killing 18 people and injuring some 70 others, reported Xinhua. Earlier, a suicide car bomber struck a crowd of recruits at the compound of state-owned Northern Oil Company (NOC) near the city of Kirkuk, killing up to eight recruits and injuring 30 others. The victims were signing up for the Iraqi Facilities Protection Service (FPS), a paramilitary force tasked with site protection of government facilities. Also in Kirkuk, a car bomb and a roadside bomb went off in succession before midday near Kirkuk University and a central marketplace, killing seven people and injuring some 50 others. The ethnically mixed province of Kirkuk and its capital Kirkuk City, some 250 km north of Baghdad, are part of the disputed areas between the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkmen. In southern Iraq, two roadside bombs went off almost simultaneously close to the French consulate in Nassriyah, some 375 km south of Baghdad, killing four people and injuring six. Separately, a car bomb went off at a busy marketplace in the Al Qiblah district in central Basra, some 550 km south of Baghdad, killing at least two people and injuring eight others. In northern Iraq, a booby-trapped car parked outside the office of the Iraqi Turkman Front in the town of Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Nineveh's provincial capital city of Mosul, blew up, killing two people and injuring seven. In Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, seven people were injured in a car bomb explosion in Bab-Sinjar district. Meanwhile, a police chief and his bodyguard were killed and two policemen injured when a roadside bomb went off near their convoy of police vehicles in Ishaqi area, some 90 km north of Baghdad. The police chief was checking the site of a car bomb that was defused earlier by his force at the scene. Three more car bombs and a roadside bombs separately exploded in cities of Sulaiman Pek, Tuz-Khurmato and Al Riyadh, north of Baghdad, killing a total of three people and injuring 18 others. Three soldiers were shot dead when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in Abu Ghraib area, some 20 km west of Baghdad. Security forces chased the attackers, killing two of them and capturing a third. In a separate incident, three car bombs went off almost simultaneously in different places in Taji area, just north of Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring seven others. In addition, a string of sporadic attacks on Sunday wounded 16 people in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border east of the country. Observers see that Sunday's attacks are part of an attempt by insurgent groups, including Al Qaeda, to show that they are capable of carrying out coordinated and high-profile attacks that could undermine the government's claims of providing security to Iraqis. Al Qaeda frequently claims responsibility of most deadly attacks in the country, raising fears that the terrorist group could return to widespread violence, particularly, as Iraq is trying to avoid the spillover of violence from the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Syria. Violence and sporadic high profile attacks are still common in the country despite the dramatic decrease of violence over the past few years.