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30 Killed As Car Bombs Rock Iraq

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Iraaaaq

30 people have been killed in a wave of car bombs in Southern Iraq, as the country grapples with a spike in violence and prolonged political deadlock, sparking fears of a sectarian war.

A total of seven vehicles rigged with explosives went off on Sunday in five cities south of Baghdad, the capital, during morning rush hour, leaving 56 people wounded in primarily Shia Muslim areas of Iraq.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda frequently target Shias, whom they regard as apostates, in coordinated attacks.

Car bombs went off in Kut, Aziziyah, Mahmudiyah, Nasiriyah and Basra, officials said.

In Kut, the provincial capital of Wasit located 160km south of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in an industrial area packed with vehicle repair garages, killing seven people and wounding 15.

Another car bomb in nearby Aziziyah, in the town’s main marketplace and near a Shia mosque, killed five and wounded 10.

Twin blasts in the southern port city of Basra, meanwhile, killed five people, including a bomb disposal expert looking to defuse one of the rigged vehicles.

At least three others were killed in bombings in Nasiriyah and Mahmudiyah.

The violence was the latest in a sharp rise in attacks nationwide, with last month registering the highest death toll since 2008, sparking fears of a return to the all-out sectarian war that blighted Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

There has been a heightened level of unrest since the beginning of the year, coinciding with rising discontent among the Sunni Arab minority that erupted into protests in late December.

Analysts say a lack of effort by the Shia-led authorities to address the underlying causes of the demonstrations has given armed groups fuel and room to manoeuvre to carry out their activities.

The outgoing UN envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler has warned the violence is “ready to explode”.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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