A series of bombings, beheadings and shootings rippled through Iraq on Monday, leaving at least 23 people dead — including 9 children — and intensifying concern about a spike in violence with less than two weeks until national elections.
Authorities detected no discernible pattern to the violence, with rockets exploding in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, car bombings aimed at government buildings, assassinations of security officers and government officials and the killings of two families in their homes in Baghdad.
The slayings of the families was reminiscent of the attacks common during the height of the bloodletting between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq a few years ago.
In the largely Shiite town of Madaen, south of Baghdad, a gang of gunmen stormed a home of a family and killed all eight people there, including six children.
“The criminals have beheaded some of the victims,” according to a brief statement from Baghdad Operations Command.
Beheading is considered a trademark of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a largely domestic insurgent group with some foreign leaders created in the aftermath of the American-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in April 2003. But the Iraqi authorities gave no indication as to the motive behind the attack.
In another Shiite district in Baghdad, a mother and her three children were gunned down in the middle of the night, according to government officials.
Monday, February 22, 2010
As the KABOBfest continues...
...and as Arab Americans are angered by the assassination of a Hamas weapons buyer in a Dubai hotel,