As the Iraqi government declared a public holiday for the official handover of security over cities from US forces to their own control, a car bomb exploded in a Kirkuk vegetable market, killing 33 civilians and injuring another 93 according to local officials.
It is the second major bombing in Kirkuk in the past two weeks. Previously, a truck bomb destroyed a Shi’ite mosque and 50 nearby homes, killing at least 80 civilians and wounding hundreds of others. Such attacks have become increasingly common in recent days.
Though US officials have repeatedly dismissed the killings as unimportant to the nation’s overall security progress, President Obama predicted that there were “difficult days ahead” in Iraq, and that there would likely be many more high profile attacks.
Obama insisted the attacks would eventually stop as the insurgents realized that they were “on the wrong side of history.” He presented today’s pullback celebrations as proof that Iraq was heading toward greater stability.
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