Coordinated attacks in Baghdad and Karbala cause hundreds of victims.
At least 40 left dead and more than 100 injured in attacks against Shiite targets on the holiest day of the year in the Shiite calendar - Aashoraa, the day to celebrate Hussein ibn Ali.
In the Shiite holy city of Karbala, where Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Mohammed, was martyred in 680 AD, five bomb attacks have caused the death of at least 35 people and an unconfirmed number of injured. It is thought that suicide bombers entered two packed mosques during religious ceremonies on the holiest day in the Shiite calendar. Over two million Shiites had gathered in Karbala.
Simultaneously, in the capital city, Baghdad, ten people have died in a similar incident, also in a Shiite area of the city and over 100 have been left injured. One US soldier has been killed in a separate bomb incident in the capital.
Analysts point out that the nature of these attacks shows a high degree of planning and coordination capacity: the perpetrators of these actions are able to move at will, pick their target and even the timing, aiming for mid-morning local time, which gives maximum coverage during the day in western news agencies.
One thing is clear - that Saddam Hussein is not behind these attacks. This is a coordinated effort to provoke the Shiite community into a reprisal and thereafter cause a downwards spiral of violence, destabilizing the country and sowing chaos, creating the conditions for extremist elements to seize power more easily.
If the United states of America and the United Kingdom had not moved so hastily and if they had respected the international agreements they are bound to by law, the extremists would not have been drawn into Iraq, which
would today be stable.
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