Dozens dead in Baghdad bombings

Many dead and injured in wave of bomb attacks across Shia districts

More than 300 people have died in violence over recent weeks.  Photograph: Haider Ala/Reuters

More than 300 people have died in violence over recent weeks. Photograph: Haider Ala/Reuters

 

Iraqi officials say several parked cars packed with explosives have detonated in mostly Shia areas of Baghdad, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens more.

The blasts are the latest violence in an unusually intense wave of bloodshed roiling Iraq. Police and hospital officials reported explosions in the largely Shia areas of Sabi al-Boor, Bayaa, Kazimiyah, Sadria and al-Maalif.

Another bombing struck the busy commercial Sadoun Street in central Baghdad. Iraq has been hit by a wave of bloodshed that has killed more than 300 people in the past two weeks alone.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attacks bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida’s Iraqi arm.

While no group claimed Monday‘s blasts, Sunni Muslim Islamist insurgents and al-Qaeda’ s Iraqi wing have increased attacks since the beginning of the year and often target Shia districts to try to trigger wider confrontation.

At least 11 blasts tore into busy markets and shopping areas in districts across the Iraqi capital, including twin bombs just several hundred meters apart that killed at least 13 people in the Sadr City area, police and hospital officials said.

Bombings on Shia and Sunni mosques, security forces and Sunni tribal leaders over a month-long surge in violence are deepening worries Iraq may tip back into the kind of widescale Shia against Sunni slaughter that killed thousands in 2006-2007.

Tensions between the Shia leadership and the country‘s Sunni Muslim minority are at their worst since American troops left in December 2011, and the conflict in Syria is also straining Iraq‘s fragile communal balance.

Agencies