Iraqis hold protest after deadly Daesh bomb attacks in Baghdad

May 13, 2016 9:30 am

Iraqi protesters carry posters calling for Minister of Interior Mohammed al-Ghabban to leave his post after blasts on May 12, 2016. ©AFP

Hundreds of Iraqis have rallied in Baghdad to criticize the government for what they called its failure to maintain security, a day after separate bombings claimed by  killed more than 90 people.
Wednesday was the bloodiest day in Baghdad so far this year, when at least 64 people, mostly women, lost their lives and 85 others were injured in a car bomb blast rocked the Sadr City neighborhood.
Later in the day, a bomber detonated his explosives in the al-Kadhimiya neighborhood of Baghdad, killing 17 people. A similar attack at a checkpoint in the al-Jamia neighborhood claimed a dozen lives.
On Thursday, residents of Sadr City gathered at the site of the bomb attack and reproached ’s political leaders for not doing enough to establish security in the Iraqi capital.
Some of the demonstrators chanted slogans demanding the resignation of Iraq’s Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghaban. 
“The government is supposed to put in place certain procedures to protect the people, but they are not offering anything,” Sheikh Kadhim Jassem, a protester, told AFP.

A member of the Iraqi security forces stands guard as civilians look at the damage following a car bomb attack in Sadr City of Baghdad, on May 11, 2016. ©AFP

On Thursday, Daesh terrorists killed at least 17 Iraqi soldiers with truck bombs in a major attack on government forces that recaptured the western city of Ramadi in December.
A recent surge in bombings has heightened criticism of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi as he grapples with a political crisis over his attempts to overhaul his cabinet.
Lawmakers have failed to convene parliament since protesters loyal to Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr breached the heavily-fortified Green Zone district two weeks ago and took over the assembly complex for several hours. 
Abadi urges probe 
On Wednesday, Abadi ordered an immediate investigation into security breaches that allowed terrorists to target Baghdad’s neighborhoods.
“The terrorist acts are aimed at undermining the internal front, which supports the armed forces in their fight for the liberation of Iraq from terrorist groups,” he said, referring to volunteer forces helping the army.
Abadi also held an emergency meeting with officials in charge of protecting security across the capital.
Daesh terrorists frequently target various neighborhoods of Baghdad, particularly those populated by Shia Muslims, to undermine government efforts to maintain security.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since Daesh began an offensive in the Iraqi territory in June 2014.
According to the latest figures released by the UN, a total of 741 Iraqis were killed and 1,374 others were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in April, with Baghdad being the hardest-hit city.
The government’s spokesman, however, said on Wednesday that areas under the control of Daesh terrorists in Iraq have shrunk from 40 to 14 percent of the national territory.
“We declare that Daesh’s presence has receded in the cities and provinces of Iraq,” Saad al-Hadithi said in televised comments.
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