55 Iraqis killed in wave of attacks by bombers
BOMBERS and gunmen killed 55 Iraqis in a series of attacks across the country yesterday.
The seemingly co-ordinated assaults targeting security forces were seen as an attempt to embarrass America a day after the number of US troops fell below 50,000 for the first time since the start of the war.
Insurgents have been stepping up their attacks on Iraq's security forces in recent months as the US has trimmed its military presence in the country. At least half of those killed were Iraqi soldiers and policemen.
There were no claims of responsibility for the spate of attacks. But their scale and reach, from one end of the country to the other, underscored insurgents' efforts to prove their might against security forces and political leaders who are charged with the day-to-day running and stability of Iraq.
The deadliest attack came in Kut, 100 miles (160km) southeast of Baghdad, where a suicide bomber blew up a car inside a security barrier between a police station and the provincial government's headquarters.
Nineteen people were killed and an estimated 90 people were wounded. "I rushed to the scene to help evacuate the people, and saw body parts and hands scattered on the ground," said government employee Yahya al-Shimari.