According to security and medical authorities, at least 107 people have been killed by bomb attacks and shootings in Baghdad and areas north of the capital. Officials say that many of the 107 killed were members of security forces, who seem to have been the prime target of the attacks. Taji, a Sunni neighborhood, was one of the worst places hit during the attacks. At least 41 people were killed in Taji, which is 12 miles north of Baghdad. During one of the bloodiest days of the year, 216 people were injured in the attacks, according to the BBC News.
During the reportedly coordinated attacks, 13 towns and cities in Iraq were hit. The deadliest attack was a car bombing of a government building in Sadr that killed 16. Kirkuk, a northern city, experienced five car bombs during the attacks. Mosul saw nine people die, six of them soldiers, in the attacks. Eleven people were killed during shootings and bombings in the province of Diyala. Other areas that suffered attacks include Saadiya, Khan Beni-Saad, Tuz Khurmatu, Dibis, Samarra and Dujail.
The attacks occurred just a couple of days after someone claiming to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, declared an offensive to regain territory previously vacated by the militant group.
“The majority of Sunnis in Iraq support al-Qaeda and are waiting for its return,” the man said.
In the attacks on Monday, 15 soldiers from Iraq’s security forces were killed in one attack on the base in Dhuluiya in the province of Salaheddin. Car bombs hit police checkpoints, mortar fire hit army bases and a policeman was attacked in his home. According to a report, five to six explosions occurred in Taji. Then, when the police arrived to help the victims, another explosion occurred, which might have been a suicide bomber. All told, 41 people were killed, 14 of them police officers. One row of homes was destroyed completely and victims were being searched for through the rubble by residents.
Ali Hussein, a resident, said, “What is the guilt of these poor people? They are working to earn a living. It is a poor market and people were here to shop in this market when the blast happened. Why did this happen?”
At least 17 people were killed on Sunday at bombings that occurred south of the capital. The death toll, which kept rising quickly on Monday, made it the year’s deadliest day. In June, at least 237 people were killed, causing it to be one of the deadliest months in the country since the United States withdrew its troops in December.