Monday, February 19, 2018

Car bomb blasts kill 34 as Iraqis await vote count

BAGHDAD — Militants unleashed a wave of car bombings in Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 34 people and sending thick, black smoke into the Baghdad skies in a show of force meant to intimidate the majority Shiites as they marked what is meant to be a joyous holiday for their sect.

The attacks came nearly two weeks after Iraqis cast ballots in the country's first parliamentary election since the U.S. military withdrawal in 2011. No preliminary results have been released, deepening a sense of uncertainty in a country strained by a resurgence of violence.

It was the deadliest day in Iraq since April 28, when militant strikes on polling stations and other targets killed 46.

An al-Qaida spinoff group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the attacks, adding that they were in retaliation for military operations being carried out by government forces in Fallujah.

"We tell the spiteful Shiites and their government that we will save no efforts to target your gatherings and centers in all over Baghdad," said the statement.

The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified, but its style was consistent with previous statements.

The militant group, made up of Sunni Muslim extremists, has strengthened control over parts of western Iraq, including the city of Fallujah and parts of Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi, since late December. It seeks to undermine the Shiite Muslim-led government's efforts to maintain security across the country.

All of Tuesday's blasts were caused by explosives-laden vehicles parked in public areas. They coincided with the Shiite communities' celebration of the birthday of Imam Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law and the sect's most sacred martyr.

Comments

AP News in Brief at 11:09 p.m. EST

AP News in Brief at 11:09 p.m. EST
Updated: 3 minutes ago
As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

PORT CHARLOTTE — The list of those no longer with the team was going to be noteworthy no matter what Monday as the holdovers, newcomers and wannabes gathered for the first full-squad workout in Camp Dis-A-Ray.Then even before Rays manager Kevin...
Updated: 6 minutes ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballIllinois at Michigan State7 p.m.ESPNWest Virginia at Baylor7 p.m.ESPN2Mississippi State at Texas A&M7 p.m.SECBoston College at N.C. State7 p.m.FSFCreighton at Butler7 p.m.FS1Rhode Island at La Salle7 p.m.CBSSNRutgers at Ohio St...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Brentson Buckner didn't need to bring his resume when he interviewed for the Bucs' job as defensive line coach. No references were needed, either.All the Bucs had to do was ask quarterback Jameis Winston whether the Arizona Cardinals defensive line w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — Tyler Johnson was as good as gone.Or so it seemed.The scuttlebutt around last year's trade deadline was that the Lightning center could be the piece headed elsewhere to land a top-four defenseman. Maybe Nashville? St. Louis?Then th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former AP photographer Max Desfor dies at 104

Former AP photographer Max Desfor dies at 104

Max Desfor, former AP photographer who won Pulitzer for Korean War photos, dies at 104
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 10:17 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 10:17 p.m. EST
Updated: 1 hour ago
Asian shares mostly lower after US holiday, await Fed notes

Asian shares mostly lower after US holiday, await Fed notes

Asian shares are mostly lower after a U.S. holiday and attention turns to disclosures from the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting
Updated: 1 hour ago
Asian shares mostly lower after US holiday, await Fed notes

Asian shares mostly lower after US holiday, await Fed notes

Asian shares are mostly lower after a U.S. holiday and attention turns to disclosures from the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting
Updated: 1 hour ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 19

Monday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 11, Central 0
Updated: 1 hour ago