Bombings kill 37 Iraqis
21 January, 2014
BAGHDAD: A series of bombings in central Iraq killed 37 people on Monday, as a government official claimed that al-Qaeda-linked fighters have dug in to a city they seized last month and possess enough heavy weapons to storm into the country's capital.
The bombings, mainly in Baghdad targeting marketplaces and court buildings, came as the army presses an all-out offensive announced on Sunday to retake the area, but has come up against heavy resistance.
Since late December, members of Iraq's al-Qaeda branch known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have taken over parts of Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar. They also control the centre of the nearby city of Fallujah, along with other non-al-Qaeda groups that also oppose the government.
"The weapons that were brought inside Fallujah are huge and advanced and frankly enough to occupy Baghdad," Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi said in a speech, adding that Iraqi forces are still fighting "fierce battles" there and in R