Iraq: At least 12 dead in bombings as sectarian violence continues


An Iraqi looks at dead sheep killed in two roadside bombs that detonated in a livestock market in the northern city of Kirkuk, on May 21, 2013.


Marwan Ibrahim

Bomb blasts killed at least 12 people in Iraq on Tuesday in the city of Kirkuk.

The multiple bombings in a livestock market came just a day after at least 76 people died around the country in bombings targeting Shias.

The Associated Press said that Tuesday's bombs tore through the bodies of people and animals alike.

More than 200 people have been killed in sectarian violence this week, as tensions between the ruling Shia government and Iraq's Sunni minority continue to escalate.

The intercommunal violence has been fed by the growing sectarian violence in neighboring Syria, where Sunni rebels fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

The AP quoted a man whose cousins were killed in the bombing Tuesday. Mahmoud Jumaa said, "I heard the explosions, but never thought this place would be targeted since these animals have nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with sect, nothing to do with ethnicity or religion."

The oil-rich city of Kirkuk is claimed by both the Kurds and the Iraqi government but it appears the violence on Tuesday was Sunnis targeting Shias.

A recent editorial in The New York Times noted that Iraq's bloodletting can be explained in part by the government's failure to address minority grievances.

This month's violence can be traced back to a raid on an anti-government Sunni protest camp by government troops that killed 50 in the town of Hawija.

More than 700 people died in Iraq in April due to violence - the highest number in five years.