U.S.: Iraq Bombers Are “Enemies of Islam”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 11 2013 11:16 AM

U.S. Says Iraq Bombers Are “Enemies of Islam”

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An Iraqi worker cleans the pavement near a burnt vehicle on August 11 on the scene of a car bomb attack that occured the day before in the northern Baghdad neighbourhood of Shaab

Photo by ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images

The United States condemned Saturday’s wave of bombings in Baghdad, calling them “cowardly attacks” perpetrated by “enemies of Islam.” Car bombs in mainly Shiite areas killed 57 people in Baghdad Saturday with almost 80 people killed across the country in what appeared to be coordinated attacks to target those celebrating the end of Ramadan, reports Reuters. The attacks culminated what has been “one of the deadliest Ramadan months in years, with regular bomb attacks killing scores of people, especially in the capital.”

The attacks Saturday “were aimed at families celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,” notes the State Department statement. “The terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community.” The State Department added that the attacks “bear the hallmarks of similar suicide and vehicle bomb attacks in Iraq over the past 90 days,” most of which “have been perpetrated by al-Qaida in Iraq.” The United States “is prepared to work closely with the Iraqi Government to confront the threat posed by al-Qaida in Iraq and other terrorist group.”

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The rise in sectarian tensions in Iraq has raised fears the country could see a repeat of the 2006-2007 violence that engulfed the country. The violence continued Sunday, when at least seven people were killed across Iraq, reports Al Jazeera.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.