BAGHDAD: Baghdad residents held funerals yesterday for victims of a suicide bombing that killed 28 people in a city park, even as authorities pressed operations against militants to stem growing violence.
Authorities have launched a fierce crackdown on militants blamed for a wave of nationwide attacks that has killed more than 3,600 people this year, but have faced criticism for not addressing the root causes of the violence.
Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki has vowed to press on with the campaign, even as analysts and diplomats voice fears that Iraq is teetering on the edge of a return to the all-out sectarian war that killed tens of thousands in 2006 and 2007. Friday’s violence killed 37 people, most of them in Baghdad.
In the worst attack, a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a small park in the confessionally mixed north Baghdad neighbourhood of Qahira, where families were gathered in the evening.
The blast — like many recent ones targeting crowded areas to inflict maximum casualties — killed at least 28 people and wounded 58, security and medical officials said.
“This morning, there was a funeral for 30 people and many, many others were wounded, and most of them will die because nobody cares about them,” said one of the mourners, Sharif Mohammed. He slammed what he said was apathy among politicians and said: “Isn’t this bloodshed enough for them?”
Nine other attacks in Baghdad, Mosul, Dujail and Hilla killed nine people on Friday. AFP