If you think Iraq's secure, read this about Wednesday's violence


McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD — A spate of attacks including two parked car bombs and two suicide car bombs driven by suicide bombers targeted police in different districts of Baghdad, Wednesday, killing at least 22 people and wounding around 74 others, security officials said.

One suicide bomber slammed into the Alwiyah police station in the central Karrada district, killing 14 people and wounding 25 others. The other suicide attack targeted the police station in the Hurriyah district in northwest Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 23 others. The greater majority of the casualties were policemen, security officials said.

A parked car bomb targeted a police patrol in Ilam neighborhood in southern Baghdad, killing three police officers and injuring three policemen and eight civilian passersby. The fourth car bomb was parked under an overpass in the Hurriyah district and it exploded as the motorcade of an army general passed by, killing one of his security guards and injuring 12 people including the general.

In the Jihad neighborhood of west Baghdad, a speeding car opened fire upon a police checkpoint, wounding two policemen; and in Sleikh in north Baghdad, a sticky bomb stuck to the vehicle of army Brig. Gen. Ali Sadoun Abboud, exploded, seriously injuring Abboud. All these attacks took place between 7:30 and 9 a.m.

"The attacks are to show us just how ineffective our security is. 'They' are making a statement: 'We are here. We can do what we like, whenever and wherever we choose in spite of all the checkpoints'." Jassim Muhammed, a resident of Sleikh neighbourhood told McClatchy.

And although violence has abated from its peak in 2006-2007 during the sectarian strife, it has not stopped. In September 79 people were killed including 54 civilians, and 170 were wounded, including 123 civilians in Baghdad province alone, police sources said. But it has changed in character.

"Armed groups are choosing their targets very carefully. They are targeting members of the security forces and government officials. It is not as random as it used to be, " said a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to reporters.

"And the way they were able to coordinate so many targets all over the capital indicates one of two things: either they are much more organized than they used to be, with the high possibility of having inside help. Or our security forces are sleeping. And in either case that Maliki has failed to provide security for the people."

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