Car bomber hits Baghdad cafe, kills dozens

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber slammed his explosive-laden car into a busy cafe in Iraq’s capital late Sunday, a day in which violence across the country killed 45 people, authorities said.

The bombing at the cafe in Baghdad’s primarily Shiite Amil neighborhood happened as it was full of customers. The cafe and a nearby juice shop were favorite hangouts of young people, who filled the area at the time of the explosions.

The blast killed 35 people and wounded 45, Iraqi officials said.

Violence has been on the rise in Iraq following a deadly crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawija in April. At least 385 have died in attacks in Iraq so far this month, according to an Associated Press count.


In a village north of Baghdad on Sunday, a car bomb targeted a police officer’s house, killing his father, brother and five nephews, officials said. Six others were wounded in the blast, which occurred when the officer was not at home.

Also on Sunday, security forces foiled an attack on the local council of the western town of Rawah by five would-be suicide bombers disguised in police uniforms, said Muthana Ismail, head of the local security committee.

Ismail said that two attackers were shot and that the rest blew up themselves up outside. Two police officers and an official were killed, and 20 people were wounded, he said.

Rawah is about 330 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s attacks, though car bombings and gun assaults are favorite tactics of Al Qaeda’s local branch. The group frequently targets Shiites, whom it considers heretics, and those seen as closely allied to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures for all attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.


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