Having enjoyed over a year of relative calm, Iraqis are expressing growing disquiet over the large number of major attacks in recent days and the ability of the government to keep a lid on sectarian unrest.
Today’s major attack was at a soccer match in Tal Afar, where a double bomb strike left at least 25 people killed and 120 others wounded. The attack wasn’t even the largest of the week.
That dubious honor belongs to a series of apparently related attacks on Monday, which left some 154 Iraqi civilians slain and at least 620 others wounded.
The Sunni militant umbrella group the Islamic State of Iraq appointed a new “war minister” as well today. The minister, who called himself Al-Nasser Lideen Allah Abu Suleiman, predicted dark days ahead for Iraq. Given the rising violence since the election, there is little reason to doubt him.
Sectarian tensions have been on the rise since the March 7 vote, in which a secular bloc supported mostly by Sunnis won the plurality but then saw its lead evaporate as the Maliki government ordered its candidates disqualified or arrested. Months later, there is still no firm date for a new government to take office, though it is widely believed that the second and third place finishers, two Shi’ite blos which have since allied, will eventually do so.