The discovery of the bodies Friday is reminiscent of the period following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when Sunni and Shiite death squads roamed the streets and carried out abductions.
“These recent killings show that the fears by many Iraqis that their country is heading to darker days similar to 2006-2007 are true and that the wounds of the past are not healed yet,” Baghdad-based political analyst Hadi Jalo told the AP. “If the government does not take effective measures to stop the sectarian tension and security deterioration, I think that we should expect more such killings.”
The latest slayings come, as the AP notes, “after police officers found the bodies of 13 men Wednesday in two locations around Baghdad, all killed by what appeared to be close-range gunshots. Some had their hands and feet tied.”
More than 5,000 people have been killed in Iraq this year alone, making it among Iraq’s most violent since violence reached a peak in 2006-2007.
Dissident republicans who are trying to force people to become human bombs have no support, an Assembly member has said.
Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey was speaking after masked thugs threatened a van driver and told him to deliver a suspect package to Strand Road police station in Londonderry.
It was one of a series of security alerts across Northern Ireland over the weekend.
Last night, two alerts in Belfast were ongoing. Victoria Street and Chichester Street were closed and Victoria Square shopping centre evacuated after reports of a suspicious car outside Musgrave Street PSNI station.
And homes in the Ravenhill Avenue area of east Belfast were evacuated following the discovery of a suspicious object in a derelict building.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott has warned of a surge in dissident republican activity after a bomb partially exploded under a shopping centre in Belfast city centre.
A terrified driver was forced to bring up to 130lb of home-made explosives into Belfast’s main commercial hub in the run-up to Christmas.
The detonator exploded but failed to trigger the rest of the device in a car park under the Victoria Square shopping centre.
Matt Baggott said: “The philosophy of these groups is simply hatred.”
A suspected U.S. drone strike on an Islamic seminary in Pakistan killed a senior member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network early on Thursday, Pakistani and Afghan sources said.
It was the first drone strike in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation since Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed on November 1 in an attack that sparked a fierce power struggle within the fragmented insurgency.
Maulvi Ahmad Jan, an adviser to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the feared head of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, was in the madrassa when at least three rockets hit his room in the Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa just before sunrise.
“Yes it’s true, we lost another valuable figure this morning,” a senior Haqqani official told Reuters.
Police responding to the blast office found a damaged seven-gallon propane tank ablaze and flames shooting up the outside of the building, as well as broken glass from shattered windows, police and the FBI said.
The fire went out on its own, and damage to the single-story brick building was confined mainly to the its exterior, police said.
“We believe the suspect tried to detonate the propane tank with an improvised explosive device (that) damaged the propane tank,” Budreau told Reuters, adding that the tank caught fire but remained mostly intact.
While the motive behind the bombing remained unknown, police and FBI said the prosecutor’s office appeared to have been deliberately singled out for attack.
Asked at a news conference whether he regarded the bombing as an act of domestic terrorism, Police Chief Tim George replied, “Yes.”
“The explosive device was clearly intended to target a government facility, the D.A.’s office,” the FBI in Portland said in a statement. “An attack on such a visible symbol of government and justice demands our singular attention.”
Commander Linked to Malala Attack in Running to Be Next Pakistani Taliban Leader: Source - World News
A ruthless commander whose fighters were blamed for shooting schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is among the front-runners to replace the Pakistani Taliban leader who was killed in a U.S. drone strike, a senior militant told NBC News.
A Taliban source said that Maulana Fazlullah, who commands the Taliban in the treacherous Swat region of northern Pakistan, is among two leading candidates to succeed Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed Friday. The other is tribal cleric Hafiz Saeed Khan.
Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai, whom the Taliban shot and threatened to kill for her advocacy for education for girls, did not win the Nobel Peace Prize despite being viewed by some as the favorite. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.
Fazlullah, 39, whose forces ordered the closure of all girls’ schools in the Swat Valley, earned himself the nickname “Radio Mullah” after establishing a radio station to transmit his fiery messages.
His division has since been forced back across the border into Afghanistan, but he remains a formidable opponent of Pakistani government forces.
The chief of the Pakistani Taliban was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Friday, security sources and a senior Taliban commander said.
Hakimullah Mehsud was one of Pakistan’s most wanted men with a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head. He led an insurgency from a secret hideout in North Waziristan, the Taliban’s mountainous stronghold on the Afghan border.
“We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack,” a senior Taliban commander told Reuters.
Chinese police are reportedly seeking two ethnic Uighur Muslims from the far west of the country in connection with the car fire which killed five people in front of Tiananmen Gate yesterday.
The driver and two passengers burned to death when their car smashed through barriers and burst into flames in a suspected immolation in front of the famous portrait of Mao Zedong.
Two tourists were killed and 38 others were injured when the vehicle struck them.
Now police are reportedly contacting local hotels looking for others who might have been involved in this seemingly deliberate act.
The United States military carried out a missile strike against a top Shabab operative in Somalia on Monday, according to Defense Department officials, three weeks after a Navy SEAL raid in another part of the country failed to capture a senior leader of the Somali Islamic militant group.
The American strike is the latest evidence that the Obama administration has decided to escalate operations against the Shabab in the aftermath of the bloody siege at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last month in which more than 60 men, women and children were killed. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the strike, referring questions to the Pentagon.
Preliminary evidence collected by the military indicated that the attack killed its intended target, Ibrahim Ali, an explosives specialist for the Shabab known for his skill in building and using homemade bombs and suicide vests, a Defense Department official said.