A spate of car bombings attributed to al-Qaida killed at least 127 people and wounded 448 in Baghdad on Tuesday. The bombs targeted a police patrol and official buildings, according to the BBC. —KA
Veteran politician Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, an ex-national security adviser, blamed al-Qaeda militants for the attacks.
He told the BBC their aim was to destabilise the country ahead of general elections due in March.
All five explosions targeted symbols of this state. Not only ministries but also a university and Baghdad’s Institute of Fine Arts.
Officials say that attacks on state-run institutions are designed to undermine the Iraqi government, especially ahead of the parliamentary election, now scheduled for early March. But people here have questions for the authorities too.
Baghdad is lined with blast walls and checkpoints. Officials had said that they had stepped up security. Many here are asking how cars full of explosives continue to get through checkpoints.
“Al-Qaeda has been active in Baghdad recently,” Mr Rubaie said.
“The aim is to show the government is unable to protect civilians and its own people and also to deter people from going to ballot boxes.”