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Baghdad bombings takes annual toll to 1,243 in Iraq's capital alone

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Tuesday’s car bomb attacks in Baghdad were the third deadliest in Iraq’s capital this year. Assuming the death toll settles at 121 victims – the latest update from the Associated Press – then 1,243 Iraqis in Baghdad have been killed by car bombs, roadside bombs, and mortars so far in 2009.

A look at Baghdad does not give the full picture, of course. The south of Iraq is much more secure, while northern cities like Mosul and Kirkuk continue to see high rates of assassinations and bombings.

But security in Baghdad has been a top priority since the beginning of the war, and huge efforts were made by Iraqi and US forces in 2007 and 2008 to secure the city and clear out smaller cities and towns around Baghdad of mostly Sunni insurgents believed responsible for the majority of bomb attacks on civilians. Many referred to the effort as the “Battle for Baghdad.”

Tuesday’s coordinated attack, with massive bombs detonating near a court complex, a mosque, and a bank where some Finance Ministry officials work, was also the third deadliest since June 30, when the US gave full responsibility for security in Iraq’s cities to the government. An Interior Ministry spokesman blamed Al Qaeda in Iraq and loyalists of executed former President Saddam Hussein for the killings.


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