Five bombs explode in Baghdad as dispute continues with Jordan

The site of a bombing in the Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad, one of several attacks that killed dozens across the city, on Saturday. Credit Hadi Mizban/Associated Press

BAGHDAD — Five bombs exploded in the Iraqi capital on Saturday, killing 30 people, as tensions continued between Baghdad and Jordan, signaling the inexorable spillover of Iraq’s troubles to the region.

The dispute between the two nations centered on a meeting held in Amman, the Jordanian capital, on Wednesday evening by 11 Iraqi Sunni groups, including some that are actively fighting the Iraqi government.

The Jordanian government was not involved in the meeting, but after the groups put out a strident statement asking other nations not to side with the Iraqi government in its conflict with Sunni militants, the Iraqis were angry that Jordan had allowed the meeting to take place.

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Iraq recalled its ambassador and the Jordanians apologized on Friday, but Iraqi Parliament members are accusing Jordan of knowing the groups were there and not arresting them.

The groups, which included tribes, former Baath Party members and the Islamic Army, a radical group that has carried out multiple attacks against the government, have been willing to tolerate the presence in Iraq of the militants, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as a means to get rid of the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

Aliya Nusaif, an Iraqi Parliament member from Mr. Maliki’s State of Law Party, criticized the Jordanians for permitting the meeting, saying, “The government of Jordan should be familiar with such activities.”

That they did not prevent it or even arrest the people participating suggested “that they knew about it,” she said.

Two of the bombs exploded in Kadhimiya, a Shiite neighborhood, while the other three were scattered throughout the city.

The last five weeks had seen relatively fewer bombs in Baghdad as ISIS and Iraqi antigovernment groups focused on taking large parts of northern and western Iraq. Recently, the bombings had begun again, and on Thursday, ISIS boasted about one carried out by an Australian suicide bomber in the main wholesale market in Baghdad.

Only one of Saturday’s explosions was a suicide bomb; the others were stationary bombs, most likely remotely detonated.

“ISIS are delivering a clear message to the government that ‘we are here, and we can strike deeply in the capital of Iraq and carry out our attacks whenever we want,’ ” said Imad Allo, a military analyst and a former brigadier general.

Mr. Allo blamed poor intelligence on the part of the Iraqi government, but also the government’s continued reliance on bomb-detection equipment that has been proved to be fake.

The Iraqi government bought thousands of the devices that international bomb detection experts have described as about as useful as a “Ouija board.”

Although at one point the government made an effort to get rid of them, they are still used at many police checkpoints and at the entrance to the Green Zone, where many embassies are, as well as offices for top government officials.

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