This is sickeningly routine — as routine as the counterintuitive affirmations that Islam is a Religion of Peace. “Iraqi officials say 20 dead in wave of bomb blasts,” by Qassim Abdul-Zahra for the Associated Press, May 30:
BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of bomb explosions in Iraq, including one targeting a provincial governor, killed at least 20 people Thursday and wounded dozens in the latest eruption of violence to rattle the country.
Iraq is facing its most relentless wave of bloodshed since the 2011 U.S. military withdrawal, deepening fears that the country is heading back toward the widespread sectarian fighting that pushed it to the brink of civil war in the years after the invasion.
More than 500 people have been killed in May. April was Iraq’s deadliest month since June 2008, according to a United Nations tally that put last month’s death toll at more than 700.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office said he spent three hours inspecting checkpoints throughout the capital late the previous night, underscoring growing concerns about the security forces’ ability to stem the violence.
Authorities in Baghdad also announced a ban in effect from early Friday on cars bearing temporary black license plates, which are common in post-war Iraq, where for years it was difficult to obtain new ones. The plates are typically on older model vehicles and are more difficult to trace, and authorities say they are frequently used in car bombings.
Most of Thursday’s blasts went off in Baghdad. Car bombs killed four in the northeastern Shiite neighborhood of Binouq, and three died in a bombing at a market selling spare car parts in central Baghdad, according to police.
In Baghdad’s eastern Shiite Ur neighborhood, a parked car bomb went off next to an army patrol, killing four and wounding 17, police said.
Police officials also said that a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in the largely Shiite central commercial district of Karradah, killing three people there.
The Karradah blast shattered glass and twisted metal signs on several storefronts, and left the stricken police unit’s modified Ford pickup truck charred and mangled.
`’What have these innocent people done to deserve this?” asked witness Sinan Ali. “So many people were hurt. Who is responsible?”
The man who devised Islam’s doctrine of jihad.