Intensifying tensions between Sunnis and Shiites led to bombings in Baghdad and Nasiriyah, leaving 60 slain in Iraq bombings on Thursday, local media reported. Al-Qaeda members stood behind the bombings, Iraqi officials hinted, following a coordinated attack on two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, where at least 27 people have been killed. Another attack took place close to Nasiriyah, taking the lives of more than 40 Shiite pilgrims heading to Karbala, a holy Shiite city.
With more than 60 slain in Iraq bombings it is too early to state who organized the suicide attacks but the main goal of those who stood behind them is to create turmoil among Iraqi people, military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said in a statement.
These are the deadliest attacks in Baghdad since al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for a series of blasts that killed 69 Iraqis on December 22, 2011. Four days earlier the last U.S. military forces have left the country.
The government in Baghdad has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi, which deepened the severe political crisis in Iraq, foreign correspondents commented. He denies any terrorism charges but the main Sunni bloc in parliament, the al-Iraqiyya group, announced they will boycott the national assembly. Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shia, is monopolizing power, they said.
Hospital doctors in Baghdad said there are more than 60 slain in Iraq bombings but their statements cannot be officially confirmed because they were not authorized to reveal the actual number of those killed and injured in the last blasts.