Blasts kill at least 19 in Iraq as US signals accelerated arms sales to the region

Bombs across Baghdad mark an upsurge in violence amid concerns of sectarian warfare

A string of attacks on cafes and public meeting areas across Iraq have killed at least 19 people, officials said today.

Sparking concerns that the country could once again descend into a quagmire of sectarian violence, blasts ripped through several cafes in a Sunni Arab neighbourhood of the capital Baghdad and elsewhere last night.

In the central city of Baquba, one of Iraq’s most violent areas, two car bombs killed 12 people and wounded 25. The attackers detonated the second as passers-by rushed to help those injured in the first.  

Within a few hours, an explosion near another cafe in Adhamiyah, a predominantly Sunni area of Baghdad, killed four people and seriously injured more than a dozen others.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, separate attacks killed a barber and wounded nine others, and two more blasts in the town of Jbela, about 35 miles south of the capital, wounded three.

Iraq has seen an increase in violence since the beginning of the year, coinciding with protests among the country's Sunni Arab minority against Shiite-led authorities.

According to reports, analysts say a failure by the government to address the underlying causes of the demonstrations has given militant groups both a recruitment platform and room to manoeuvre.

The attacks come as senior Iraqi officials and American military personnel signal the possibility of renewed army training for local forces.

General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended on Wednesday that the American government send training teams and accelerate sales of weapons and equipment to the region to bolster Iraq’s military capabilities.

In response, Ali al-Moussawi, the media adviser for Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, said Baghdad would welcome increased support to help it confront rising regional instability and terrorist threats.

“We welcome this kind of co-operation and we consider it a part of the existing agreement between us,” al-Moussawi said when asked about Dempsey’s comments.

“Because of the high risks the region faces, I think there should be bigger co-operation and co-ordination between all countries threatened by terrorism.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Operations and Administration Support Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Solar P...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Support Specialist

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is changing the way at...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Web Designer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Business Development Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an ...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor