April 23, 2009

Suicide bombers kill 78 in Iraq

POLITICS - Suicide bomb blasts tore through crowds waiting for food aid in central Baghdad Iraq yesterday and inside a roadside restaurant filled with pilgrims from Iran, killing at least 78 people in Iraq's deadliest day in over a year.

The toll yesterday includes least 31 dead in Baghdad and 47 to the north in Diyala province is part of a series of high-profile attacks by Sunni insurgents.

An Iraqi government tally shows violence has killed 87,215 Iraqis since 2005.

Associated Press records show the total for the entire war, including non-civilians, exceeds 110,000 Iraqis. That figure is based on the government tally and counts of casualties from earlier years from hospital sources and media reports.

Both numbers exclude thousands of people who have gone missing and civilians who were buried in the chaos of war without official notice.

Two more suicide attacks today killed another 54 people.

Meanwhile the United States is shifting its military focus to Afghanistan, where Taliban forces have built up strongholds along the Afghan-Pakistan border, a region troops are now jokingly referring to as "Talibanistan" or simply "Talistan".

The deadliest day in Iraq was March 8th 2008, when at least 110 people were killed by suicide bombers.

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