BAGHDAD (AP) — A bombing near a playground and other insurgent attacks killed 18 people including several children in Iraq today, challenging government efforts to promote a sense of stability by preventing attacks during a major Muslim holiday.
The strikes underscored the difficulties facing Iraq's leadership as it struggles to keep its citizens safe. Authorities have said they intended to increase security to thwart attackers who might use the four-day Eid al-Adha (eed al-AHD'-hah) to strike when people are off work and families gather in public places.
The deadlier of two blasts in Baghdad struck near a playground and a small market, killing eight people, including four children.
Elsewhere, a bomb attached to a bus carrying Iranian Shiite pilgrims killed five people.
In the northern city of Mosul, gunmen broke into the houses of two Shabak families, killing a total of five people. Shabaks are ethnically Turkomen and Shiite by religion.