Region | Iraq

Iraq carnage fuels fears of civil war

Fearful Iraqis spent sleepless nights guarding their homes and asking who would be next after gunmen burned mosques and houses in a Sunni enclave following the worst bomb attack since the US invasion.

  • Reuters
  • Published: 00:00 November 26, 2006
  • Gulf News

Baghdad: Fearful Iraqis spent sleepless nights guarding their homes and asking who would be next after gunmen burned mosques and houses in a Sunni enclave following the worst bomb attack since the US invasion.

The city of 7 million was under a tight curfew for a second full day since Thursday's bombing in which more than 200 Shiites died.

"Everybody is tense, everybody is expecting something may happen at any moment," said Abu Marwah, 40, a Sunni Arab translator who spent much of the night on the roof of his house with his Kalashnikov at hand, keeping watch for militia attacks.

Exploding mortar bombs kept other Baghdad residents awake. The president, prime minister and leaders from all sides were due to meet again later yesterday to discuss security.

Four mosques and some houses were burnt in the small Sunni part of Hurriya area in northwest Baghdad, Deputy Prime Minister Salem Al Zubaie said on Friday.

Some 32 people were killed, police said, in attacks on the area by suspected Shiite militiamen, untroubled by a curfew enforced after 202 died in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City. A witness to Friday's attacks in Hurriya, university teacher Imad Al Deen Al Hashemi, said three women, three children and two men were badly burned but survived when gunmen threw petrol into their homes and set fire to the buildings.

Clashes and air strikes were reported by witnesses and a police source in Baquba, a tense religiously mixed city north of Baghdad. They said militants swept through the city and attacked a police centre, though no casualties were reported.

In a village in the same province, Diyala, a security source said the bodies of 21 Shiites, including women and children from an extended family, were found in their homes.

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