Islamic State claims responsibility for Iraq Car Bomb Attacks in the Heart of Baghdad

On 3rd May, 2015, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a late-night car bomber attack in the heart of Baghdad that killed at least 19 people, stating that it was targeted at a Shiite Militia, according to Baghdad (AP). The two car bombs in Baghdad went off about 10 minutes apart late Saturday, 2nd May, 2015 in the Karrada district, popularly recognised for its restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlors. The police investigative and situational reports revealed that victims of the devastative attack were mainly shoppers and people celebrating the birth of Imam Ali, a key figure in Shiite Islam. The report also revealed that two traffic policemen were among those killed during the attacks.

Concurrently, on Sunday 3rd May, 2015, another bomb went off in an outdoor market in the town of Madain south of Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding eight others, another police report confirmed. It could be recalled there was an online claim that the extremist group had issued in the past week about a bombing in Baghdad, which they described as revenge for the fighting in nearby Anbar province. There has been a major spike in car bomb attacks in Baghdad over the past week, leading some Iraqi officials to claim that militants have gained access to the capital by hiding among the displaced. Signalling the growing security concerns in the state capital, Iraqi authorities found five bodies of men dumped in different areas who had suffered gunshots to the head and chest and had their hands and legs tied, two police officers reported. The police also added that there was no means of identifying the victims.

The littering of dead bodies in Baghdad reminds Iraqis of the sectarian killings that engulfed the country in 2006 and 2007, when armed Sunni and Shiite militias carried out assassinations. Recently, the Iraqi forces are engaging in a fierce battle in Anbar against Islamic State militants, who control some 65 percent of the province. The fighting has caused 114,000 residents of the provincial capital, Ramadi, to flee to Baghdad. On 3rd May, 2015, the Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi reported that the army were making progress in driving out the militants from the region.

In the interrogations of minds the rational and reasoning souls (and even the irrational souls) – there seem to be intriguing, sensible and re-echoing questions or combinations of the three which require urgent response(s) from individuals, groups, religion communities, the states or international communities: the question about tolerance, increasing grave destruction, crime against humanity and lack of respect for dignity of persons. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) explicitly offers all-inclusive rights, if judiciously and supremely observed and implemented, guarantee and promote peaceful co-existence and cohabitation. One of them is right to life which essentially forms formidable continuing existence of individuals, groups or states. It is right that is not limited only to government’s responsibility to protect lives but also places demand on citizens to protect their fellows in the light of their own actions or actions of others by learning the art and science of tolerance, legitimately shunning destructive engagements, decrying inhumane groups, furnish the state with necessary information that could ensure full protection of citizens and respect fundamental rights of others to life. Peace is panacea to development and security; it must be embraced to realize the purpose of human existence.

Oyewole Oginni
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