Wednesday, July 25, 2007

At least 50 Iraqi soccer fans killed, scores wounded in Baghdad bombings

Above: Iraqis celebrate as the national soccer team stunned South Korea 4-3 today to send them into the Asian Cup finals against Saudi Arabia which today defeated Japan 3-2. Left: Iraq's Ahmed Abbas, 16, celebrates his winning penalty goal in today's game.

50 dead in Baghdad when soccer celebrations attacked

Two suicide car bombs exploded today amid throngs that poured into Baghdad's streets after the Iraqi national soccer team edged South Korea to reach its first Asian Cup final. Police said at least 50 people were killed and 135 were injured...

A love of soccer is one of the few things that unites Iraqis across ethnic and religious divides, and violence dropped to unusually low levels as Iraqis sat transfixed through the nail-biting match, broadcast live on Iraqi television and radio.

They then descended into the streets, waving flags and pointing their guns to the sky in celebration.

But barely two hours after the end of the game, a suicide car bomber killed at least 30 people and injured 75 in Baghdad's western Mansour neighborhood, police said. Another bomber drove his explosives-packed car into a crowd across the river in eastern Baghdad, killing 20 more people and injuring 60, police said.

Read the rest at the LA Times

Two bombings strike soccer fans in Baghdad

Two bombings struck soccer fans in Baghdad as they were celebrating Iraq's victory in the Asian Cup semifinal on Wednesday, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens, officials said.

The victims were among the thousands of revelers who took to the streets of the capital after the country's national soccer team beat South Korea to reach the tournament's final against Saudi Arabia on Sunday in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The first explosion occurred about 6:30 p.m. when a suicide car bomber exploded in a crowd of people cheering near a well-known ice cream parlor in Baghdad's western neighborhood of Mansour, according to police and hospital officials. At least 11 people were killed and more than 60 wounded in that attack, the officials said.

Another suicide car bomber detonated his payload about 45 minutes later in the midst of dozens of vehicles filled with revelers near an Iraqi army checkpoint in the eastern district of Ghadeer, killing at least 16 people, including two soldiers, and wounding nearly 60, area officials said.

That attack occurred as Iraqis of all ages were packed onto the top of cars, pickups and minibuses, waving Iraqi flags and shirts, while others danced in the streets near the checkpoint. Men put towels over their heads or sprayed cars with water for relief in the hot summer weather.

Read the rest at AOL News

Related Link:
Perspective: 'They make me feel that we are united again'