65 Killed At Baghdad University; More Than 100 Civilians A Day Die In Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/17/07 - Baghdad, Iraq

65 Killed At Baghdad University; More Than 100 Civilians A Day Die In Iraq

A man stands amid destruction outside Al-Mustansriya university in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday Jan. 16, 2007. Two minivans exploded near a university as students were leaving after classes Tuesday in a predominantly Shiite area of eastern Baghdad. A man stands amid destruction outside Al-Mustansriya university in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday Jan. 16, 2007. Two minivans exploded near a university as students were leaving after classes Tuesday in a predominantly Shiite area of eastern Baghdad.

An explosion outside a Baghdad university as students were heading home for the day killed at least 65 people on Tuesday in the deadliest of several attacks on predominantly Shiite areas. The attacks -- and the announcement of four U.S. military deaths -- came on a day the United Nations said more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians died last year in sectarian violence.

Attacks in Baghdad -- including the university explosion, blasts at a marketplace for used motorcycles and a drive-by shooting -- killed more than 100 people in a spasm of violence ahead of a promised drive by the Iraqi government and U.S. forces to secure the capital.

On Monday, the Iraqi government hanged two of Saddam Hussein's henchmen in an execution that left many of the ousted leader's fellow Sunni Muslims seething after one of the accused, the ousted leader's half brother, was decapitated on the gallows.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Tuesday's violence was the work of those seeking revenge for the executions, calling those responsible "a desperate group of terrorists and Saddamists."

The military said four U.S. soldiers with Task Force Lightning were killed Monday in the northwestern province of Ninevah, home to the city of Mosul, which has seen a recent increase in violence. The deaths raised to at least 3,026 members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

In Baghdad, the deadliest attacks took place in primarily Shiite neighborhoods and appeared to be the work of Sunnis, who largely make up the insurgency targeting the Iraqi government and U.S. forces.

Raad Abbas, a 26-year-old wounded in the attack at the motorcycle market that killed 13, said he went to the market because the city had been quieter over the past two weeks.

"Shortly after midday, I heard an explosion. Motorcycles were flying in the air, people were falling dead and wounded," he said from his hospital bed.

As the curious gathered to look at the aftermath of the first explosion -- a bomb attached to a motorcycle -- a suicide car bomber drove into the crowd and blew up his vehicle. The attack appeared to target the mainly Shiite neighborhood near the market but also was near the Sheik al-Gailani shrine, one of the holiest Sunni locations.

Story courtesy of the Associated Press.

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