We may be seeing a new tactic from the Zarqawi group in Iraq in favor of twin suicide car bombs. From AFP, “Iraq suicide bombings kill 23, Pakistani hostage released”
BAGHDAD – At least 23 people died and more than 80 were wounded in a series of bomb attacks near a mosque in Baghdad and outside a police academy in the north of the country, security officials said.
Amid the violence, Islamabad said a Pakistani hostage held since two weeks had been released, while in Washington controversial politician Ahmed Chalabi said delays in forming a government were playing into the hands of insurgents.
Two explosions Sunday evening in a mixed Shiite-Sunni district of the Iraqi capital apparently targeted an area close to the Shiite Hussayniah al-Beit mosque, killing 16 and wounding 50.
“A bomb exploded and, when people ran out near the Hussayniah al-Beit mosque, a car driven by a suicide bomber ploughed into them,” an interior ministry official said.
Earlier, two suicide car bombs went off outside a police academy in Tikrit, killing at least seven people and wounding 37. Police casualties accounted for five of the dead, police and hospital sources said.
The mosque bombing was the latest in a series of attacks on Shiites, with a suicide car bomb exploding outside another Shiite mosque during weekly prayers on Friday, killing nine people and leaving 26 wounded.
The majority Shiites won control of parliament in January 30 elections, while the Sunni Arab minority, which dominated the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein and all previous Iraqi governments, largely boycotted the poll.
The insurgency that has raged in Sunni areas since Saddam’s ouster in 2003 has seen a growing resort to sectarian attacks.
Militants loyal to Al-Qaeda’s Iraq frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the twin Tikrit attacks in an Internet statement, the authenticity of which could not be verified…