Weekend attacks kill at least 69

BAGHDAD – Weekend bombings and shootings in Iraq left at least 69 people dead from the north to the south, intensifying fears of a possible surge of violence coinciding with the drawdown of U.S troops.

West of Baghdad, eight people died Sunday in what police suspect was a suicide bombing near a government office in Ramadi. Three more were killed in a car bombing in Fallujah targeting a police patrol.

In the southern city of Basra, health officials raised to 43 the death toll in a triple explosion in a busy marketplace Saturday night, and police confirmed the bloodshed was caused by at least one bomb, which may have triggered the other blasts.

In the northern city of Mosul, the controversial governor of Nineveh province, Atheel Najafi, escaped an assassination attempt when two bombs targeted his motorcade. Najafi is a key supporter of the mostly Sunni Arab bloc led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, and has played a leading role in rising Kurdish-Arab tensions by asserting Arab claims to land controlled by Kurds.

An additional 14 people died and scores were injured in more than a dozen other bombings and shootings over the weekend.

A U.S. soldier was reported killed in the southern province of Babil. The U.S. military did not say how the soldier died.

Los Angeles Times

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