In Iraq’s bloodiest day in over a year, attacks in more than a dozen Iraqi cities killed 67 people on Monday.
Forty people died in twin blasts blamed on al Qaeda in the southern city of Kut, 160 kilometres from capital Baghdad. However, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
A roadside bomb in Kut’s centre was followed minutes later by a nearby car bomb, medical and security officials said.
Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki condemned the attacks, and said those who carried them out “won’t get away with these crimes.”
“Security forces should not let these killers breathe ... any respite means we are putting Iraqi blood at risk,” he said.
Meanwhile, the White House said on Monday it would “consider” any Iraqi request for a US troop presence past 2011.
Spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters that Washington’s “overall” posture “in terms of drawing down” was unchanged after the countrywide attacks, but that if Iraqi leaders “make some kind of request, we’ll certainly consider it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.