Bloody Week in Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya

Iraq

The U.N. warned on Sunday against retaliatory attacks in Iraq after two blasts killed 73 people in a Shiite area of Baghdad, a day after a Sunni mosque bombing.

Saturday’s bombings struck near funeral tents for a deceased tribal sheikh in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad and also wounded more than 200 people.

It was just the latest attack in a surge in violence that authorities have so far failed to stem- the worst to hit Iraq since 2008, when the country was emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict.

Pakistan

A double suicide bombing killed more than 60 people at a church service in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, officials said, believed to be the deadliest attack on Christians in the troubled country.

The two bombers struck at the end of a service at All Saints Church in Peshawar, the main town of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which has borne the brunt of a bloody Islamist insurgency in recent years.

Doctor Mohammad Iqbal of Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital told AFP that 61 people had been killed and 120 wounded. Fellow doctor Sher Ali confirmed the numbers

Nigeria

The death toll from an attack in northeastern Nigeria that saw insurgents dressed as soldiers set up checkpoints and gun down travellers on a highway has risen to at least 142, an official said Sunday.

“We recovered 55 bodies on Wednesday and 87 on Thursday,” Abdulaziz Kolomi, an official with the environmental protection agency in Borno state, where the attack occurred, told AFP. The previous toll from the attack in the Benisheik area was 87.

Kenya

The Kenyan Red Cross says 68 people are now confirmed dead, after the bodies of nine hostages were recovered on Sunday.

According to BBC News, between 10 and 15 attackers thought to be militants from the Somali al-Shabab movement are still inside.

Some civilians are still trapped, either as hostages or in hiding.

At about 20:30 GMT on Sunday, the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) said on Twitter that most of the hostages had been rescued and security forces had taken control of most of the westgate building.

Meanwhile, Kenya‘s President Uhuru Kenyatta says the country is united and strong in adversity.

“The criminals are now located in one place within the building,” Mr Kenyatta said at a news conference on Sunday.

“With the professionals on site, we have as good a chance to neutralise the terrorists as we could hope for.”

He thanked those who had helped with rescue and relief efforts, and asked other countries not to issue travel advisories against visiting Kenya.

 

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