Car bomb tears through cafe in Baghdad, killing at least 16

BAGHDAD — A car bomb tore through a cafe packed with young men watching a football match Tuesday in Baghdad, killing at least 16 people, officials said.

BAGHDAD — A car bomb tore through a cafe packed with young men watching a football match Tuesday in Baghdad, killing at least 16 people, officials said. It was the first major attack since U.S. commandos killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck a Shiite enclave in a mainly Sunni neighbourhood, but it bore the hallmarks of the terror network’s chapter in Iraq. Al-Qaida operatives have vowed revenge for bin Laden’s death on Sunday.

Iraqi security officials said Monday that they were increasing security amid fears that insurgents would try to strike immediately following bin Laden’s death as a way to show they are still a potent force.

Most of the dead and wounded were young people watching a football match, said police and hospital officials. A vendor selling food near the cafe also was among the 16 killed. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information, said 37 people also were wounded.

The attack occurred in a Shiite enclave in the former insurgent stronghold of Dora, an area in southwestern Baghdad that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq conflict.

Many Iraqis were quick to blame the terror network.

“This is the cowardly reaction of al-Qaida after the killing of the big terrorist bin Laden. They intend to do this against such gatherings in Shiite areas,” Jasim Hashim, a 20-year-old student who lives about 200 yards (meters) from where the bomb went off in front of a popular cafe.

He said his parents had refused to let him go out, fearing just such an attack after bin Laden’s capture, but one of his close friends was at the cafe and killed in the attack.

Violence in Iraq has decreased dramatically since the height of the insurgency when groups such as al-Qaida in Iraq carried out car bombs, kidnappings and shootings daily. But the terror groups still have the ability to wage violent attacks as the U.S. prepares to withdraw all its forces by the end of this year.

Earlier Tuesday, a police colonel in northern Iraq was killed by a roadside bomb, police and medical officials said. Colleagues of Eid al-Namis said he was known in the Namroud area, about 20 miles (35 kilometres) south of the northern city of Mosul, for his work in hunting al-Qaida operatives there.

According to a Mosul police officer, al-Namis had already survived at least three assassination attempts before he was killed Tuesday morning when the bomb hit his convoy. The police and medical officials also declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Several cases of COVID-19 were reported among employees of stores at Bower Place Mall. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
COVID-19 cases reported at Bower Place mall stores

AHS said five complaints were investigated since March, and required changes made

Edmonton Eskimos' Tanner Green, right, knocks the ball from Calgary Stampeders' Romar Morris during first half CFL football action in Calgary in 2019. Green has been waiting for nearly 17 months to get back on the field with the Edmonton Football Team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lacombe’s Tanner Green happy to finally see a CFL return to play date

CFL announced Wednesday league will return on Aug. 5

Instructor Brandt Trimble leads an outdoor spin class at RYDE RD. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Fitness facilities continue to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions

‘It’s really frustrating to be one of the targeted businesses’

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins (Photo contributed)
Federal budget strangles job growth, says MP Blaine Calkins

‘It is most certainly not a balanced budget’

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

Halifax author tackles notorious tale of N.S. family in new novel

Halifax author tackles notorious tale of N.S. family in new novel

The Rogers Logo is photographed in Toronto office on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Rogers CEO ‘deeply disappointed’ software upgrade caused wireless outage

TORONTO — The chief executive of Rogers Communications Inc. said Wednesday that… Continue reading

Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem holds a press conference at the Bank Of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bank of Canada keeps rate on hold, sees brighter economic outlook

Bank of Canada keeps rate on hold, sees brighter economic outlook

Pumpjacks pump crude oil in Alberta on June 20, 2007.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Court asked to step in as SanLing Energy warns it intends to stop operations

Court asked to step in as SanLing Energy warns it intends to stop operations

Canadian Pacific Railway president and CEO Keith Creel addresses the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CP Rail asks U.S. regulator to rule on its and CN’s rival Kansas City Southern bids

CP Rail asks U.S. regulator to rule on its and CN’s rival Kansas City Southern bids

A man walks into a Cargill meat processing factory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Site of COVID outbreak last year: Vaccination clinic at Alberta meat plant postponed

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for thousands of workers… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We hope to help a little more’: Biden says he spoke to Trudeau about more vaccines

WASHINGTON — Canada can look forward to an unexpected shot in the… Continue reading

The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020. A new federal study found that people released from prison were much more likely than the general population to have trouble finding gainful employment, even over a decade after returning to society. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Ease employment hurdles for former prison inmates, federal study urges

OTTAWA — A new federal study found that people released from prison… Continue reading

Most Read