Two Baghdad blasts killed at least 43 people and wounded 79 others in crowded areas of the capital as six ministers from Iraq's largest Sunni Muslim bloc withdrew from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's coalition government.
A fuel tanker exploded near a gasoline station in the western Mansour district, killing 27 people and wounding 45, state television said. Rows of cars were left charred by the blast. The Associated Press reported the number of dead in that blast may be as high as 50.
Earlier today, a car bomb in the central Karrada district killed at least 16 people and wounded 34 others, state television said. It was the third bomb attack in the area in 10 days. Baghdad districts are commonly targeted in Iraq's sectarian conflict between rival Shiite and Sunni groups.
At least 1,652 civilians were killed in Iraq last month, up from 1,241 in June, Agence France-Presse said, citing Iraqi ministries. July's figure was more than the 1,626 civilians killed in February, AFP said, when up to 30,000 additional U.S. forces began to deploy to Iraq in an attempt at quelling sectarian violence and the insurgency.
The six ministers from the National Accordance Front, the main Sunni political bloc, announced their withdrawal from al- Maliki's coalition government at a Baghdad news conference today.
``The National Accordance Front has promised the Iraqi people to withdraw from the current government that didn't respond to our demands,'' the bloc said in a statement carried on the Web site of President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan political party.
Is this the "brilliant" progress of which O'Hanlon spoke? It's becoming harder and harder to not believe that the plan for "victory" is just the complete annihilation of every single Iraqi.