Suicide bombing in Iraq kills 35 in busy cafe

October 20, 2013

A suicide bomber slammed his explosives-laden car Sunday night into a busy cafe in Iraq’s capital, part of a day of violence across the country that killed 45 people, authorities said.

The bombing at the cafe in Baghdad’s primarily Shiite Amil neighborhood occurred when it was full of customers. The cafe and a nearby juice shop are popular meeting places for young people in the neighborhood.

The blast killed 35 people and wounded 45, officials said.

Violence has been on the rise in Iraq after a deadly crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawijah in April. At least 385 people have died in attacks in Iraq this month, according to an Associated Press count.

In a village north of Baghdad, a car bomb targeted a police officer’s house, killing his father, brother and five nephews, officials said. Six people were wounded in the blast, which occurred when the officer was not at home.

Security forces, meanwhile, foiled an attack on the local council in the western town of Rawah by five would-be suicide bombers disguised in police uniforms, said Muthana Ismail, head of the local security committee.

Ismail said that two of the would-be attackers were shot and that the others blew themselves up outside the council building. Two police officers and an official were killed, he said, and 20 people were wounded.

Rawha is about 200 miles northwest of Baghdad.

There was no claim of responsibility for Sunday’s attacks, though car bombings and gun attacks are the favorite tactics of al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch. The group frequently targets Shiites, whom it considers heretics, and those seen as closely allied to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures for all the attacks. All officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the news media.

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