The 20 March 2012 Iraq attacks
were the sixth simultaneous wave of bombings to hit Iraq
during the insurgency
and the second such major assault since the US withdrawal
at the end of 2011. At least 50 people were killed and around 250 wounded in highly coordinated attacks spread out in at least 10 cities. The deadliest attack of the day took place in Karbala
where twin bombings left 13 dead and 50 injured. In the northern city of Kirkuk
a car parked in the parking lot of a local security office exploded, killing 13 and leaving almost 60 wounded. Several explosions rocked the capital Baghdad
, including mortar attacks close to the Green Zone
and a suicide blast near an intelligence building opposite the Foreign Ministry – three people were killed and nine wounded in that attack. Numerous other bombings and shootings took place all across the country, including Fallujah
, Tuz Khormato
and others. A car bomb in Ramadi
killed two and injured 11, as unidentified gunmen shot and killed two police officers in a nearby village. Authorities in Baqubah
discovered and successfully disarmed at least eight explosive devices.
The umbrella group Islamic State of Iraq
almost immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings and promised further bloodshed as it targets Shiites across Iraq. The country is set to host the postponed Arab League Summit
on 29 March, in the midst of a surge of violence and a rise in civilian and security casualties since the withdrawal of US forces.