Iraq blasts kill 100 as fugitive VP gets death sentence

By REUTERS
September 9, 2012 23:58

 
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BAGHDAD - Car bombs tore through mainly Shi'ite Baghdad districts on Sunday after Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi was sentenced to death, as more than 100 people were killed across the country in one of the bloodiest days this year.

Hashemi's sentencing in absentia and the violence threatened to further stoke sectarian tensions in Iraq where a Shi'ite-led government is battling political deadlock and a Sunni Islamist insurgency nine months after US troops left.

A senior Sunni politician, Hashemi fled Iraq after the authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in December, a move that threatened to collapse a fragile power-sharing deal among Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs.

After Sunday's court ruling, bombs tore through six mainly Shi'ite neighborhoods around Baghdad, one going off outside a restaurant and another in a busy commercial district, following earlier bombs that had hit other cities nationwide.

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