At least 32 dead in Baghdad car bombs

The Washington Post:

Five bombs detonated across Baghdad on Sunday killing at least 32 people and wounding at least 116, Iraqi security authorities said.

Three rockets were also fired at the U.S. embassy, Iraqi authorities and American witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The bombing attacks made Sunday one of the deadliest days in the Iraqi capital since the United States announced the end of combat operations in Iraq three weeks ago and illustrated how unpredictable the security situation in Baghdad remains despite efforts by Iraqi police to prevent car bombs through checkpoints and vehicle inspections.

Two car bombs detonated simultaneously at 10 a.m. killing at least 29 people and wounding 111, authorities said. The bombs exploded in the Mansour and Kathumya neighborhoods.

A third bomb stuck beneath a civilian bus killed the driver and his son and wounded four others. A fourth car bomb killed a prominent Iraqi tribal leader, Salih Ali Hamdan, and wounded his son. A bomb also detonated in the parked vehicle of a senior Iraqi intelligence official but did not cause casualties.

It is doubtful that even if US soldiers were manning checkpoints and otherwise engaged in security operations that these bombs could have been prevented. The political instability is driving these attacks and the US army can do little or nothing about that.

But the psychological effect of the US withdrawal on the Iraqi police and army may be contributing to a break down in security. Without their US backstop, they may feel less sure of themselves as violence in Iraq continues despite the best efforts of local forces to counter it.